Another one in the books

Well, another beautiful pageant season has come and gone for our now 16 year old beauty Brianna. This year was so full of growth for her, and I know I’ve said it before, but I am so PROUD of her.

The Jackson County Teen USA pageant is held annually in August, the girls work for months in advance to sell ads, make appearance, raise funds for various charities, and prepare themselves for an opportunity to earn thousands of dollars in educational scholarships. Only ten girls make it to the stage, and work their tales off to win that crown!

Brianna has been participating in local pageants since she was just 5 years old. She has won the Little Miss Sunshine pageant, and taken the title of Junior Miss Jackson County when she was just 9 years old. She has always seemed to enjoy the pageantry of the pageants lol.

Last year she performed well, identifying that she needed to work on her interview skills, and adjust her talent section to something she felt more in tune with. She found an amazing gown, and had been participating in off season sports to be ready for the active wear competition (at the teen level they do active wear instead of swimwear). Having made the needed adjustments she went into this years pageant confidently beautiful.

She was able to reach out locally in her platform, the American Cancer Societies Relay for Life, and with the help of another contestant they held a Relay for Life Pageant, with nearly 20 participants it was a fun afternoon which many of her pageant sisters joined her in as volunteers. It always nice to see the girls support one another.

At the end of all Brianna placed as 4th Runner up, and although she felt a little disappointed with her over all placement she was sincerely excited for this years winner Miss Emily Mast. Emily has been a long time participant in the pageant, is getting ready to leave for college, she is an eloquent speaker, and very talented young lady. Not only deserving of the title but has it in her nature to go above and beyond and I’m sure will fulfill the duties of the position with much grace and poise.

As for Brianna, she is already talking about next years pageant. She can not wait to get back on that stage! And this pageant Mom can’t wait either… till next time, here’s to the crown!

Advertisements

Mob Museum, and The Underground Las Vegas – Review

I get a lot of positive feedback on my vacation reviews so I thought I would share another one with you.

The Las Vegas Mob Museum opened several years ago in downtown Las Vegas just a block or two away from Fremont St. It’s easily walkable if your already visiting downtown. The museum occupies the former courthouse house building lending further credibility to its contents as the courthouse was the scene of many Mob related prosecutions in Las Vegas.

The museum itself has added a lot of great interactive attractions since it first opened. It’s a great place to visit for all ages. He have historic memorabilia, video presentations, hands on experiences, and a nice gift shop with unique Mob related swag. Photography is allowed, and it is easily accessible for all ages and talents (meaning handicapped accessible).

Located in the basement level of the museum they have now incorporated a speakeasy bar called The Underground. This is a highlight for sure! They are currently distilling their own brand of moonshine in the basement that they offer free samples of, you travel from there into a very nice bar area with flapper style displays in cases built into the walls, unique art and a full service bar with era specific cocktails that have special presentation twists.

Andy ordered the underground old fashioned. He was presented with a book and glass of ice!

We quickly discovered what a good book this was 😂.

So all in all I’d say this is a Las Vegas must. If you enjoy the culture of the city itself then you’ll truly enjoy this, and the alcohol doesn’t hurt either. Enjoy!

Cheers to 20 Years!

Cheers

Today my husband Andy and I celebrate 20 years of marriage. It’s quite a milestone, and I’m both glad and sometimes a little surprised we made it this far lol. One thing they don’t tell you when your young and in love is that marriage is HARD! You have to be willing to work at it, and understand that not every moment of your life is a family picture… Christmas card…pumpkin spiced latte…perfect date kind of day with your spouse.

In twenty years we’ve lived together in three different homes, our first was a tiny two bedroom bungalow with dated blue carpet… but it was perfect for us then. We’ve lived through the births of three beautiful babies, and survived the devastating loss of our Logan.  We’ve collectively held 8 different jobs, and now live in the challenge of working together. We’ve made countless friends, enjoyed hours of fun together, and have done a bit of travelling.

wp-image-2130721587

In twenty years we have learned how to both communicate effectively, and shut each other out… not a proud moment usually. We’ve laughed, cried, screamed, sulked, joked, surprised, and most of the time loved each other. On less of a becoming note I will say though that we have also hurt each others feelings, forgotten to be the most responsible people we know, called each other terrible names, and yes even contemplated a divorce. What you come to realize after 20 years though is that all of it is normal, and sometimes expected and although not always fun, it’s part of life.

I’ve enjoyed the last 20 years.  There are things I would have done differently but I would never change the person that I have spent those 20 years with.  So, Cheers to 20 years Andrew Richard Bailey. I love you.

black-happy-anniversary-topper122877727.jpg

 

Guy Fieri’s Las Vegas Bar and Grill- Review

Each visit to Las Vegas is like a little mini food vacation too. We always seem to find that one place that was just the highlight from a food standpoint. On this trip it was celebrity chef Guy Fieri’s Las Vegas Bar and Grill. You probably know of Guy Fieri from the popular Food Network Program; Diner’s, Drive-in’s, and Dives. Guy has traveled all over the world sampling the best of every region he visits!

diners-drive-ins-and-dives-15

The restaurant itself is located in the Linq Hotel and Casino, and features a large outdoor patio dining area that faces Carnival Court Bar, and Harrah’s Hotel and Casino. We have walked passed this place a thousand times, usually right after eating somewhere else and each time had said..” Ah, we should have eaten here!” It always appeared to have a fun, and relaxing atmosphere.

We found our way there right at lunch time, it was busy and there was an estimated 20min wait. We were patient and waited, they seated us within the estimated time. The staff was friendly and professional. The restaurant itself although busy didn’t feel cramped or chaotic. We requested patio seating, and enjoyed some people watching while we ate.

The menu was great, lots of options, they had gluten free, and vegetarian options marked. They had a full bar, and we enjoyed some beer with our lunch. My husband ordered the Bacon Mac N Cheese Burger, and I ordered the Vegan Burrito.

My husband talked about this burger for the rest of our trip lol. He loved it! He compared all other foods to it for the rest of our trip! I’m not even joking we ate at another burger place and he said it was good but not Guy Fieri good. So apparently the Mac N Cheese Burger is sure winner! The Vegan burrito was a little on the dry side some pico de gallo would have gone a long way, but it was filling and still flavorful.

All in all this is a great place to stop for a bite while in Vegas, I highly recommend it and my husband would definitely say order the Mac N Cheese Burger. The bill was reasonable for Vegas, and we left quite satisfied with our experience there. Enjoy!

Flamingo Hotel & Casino Las Vegas- Review

My husband and I made a recent trip to Las Vegas, for those who know us this is not an unusual occurrence as we frequently travel there for quick get-away’s and annually around the time of our Anniversary. This year we are celebrating 20 years! We made our trip decisions a little late this year as things were very busy at work, and we needed to coordinate our trip around various other commitments. That being said we decided to stay at an older hotel with a little more Vegas history to it, this would save us a few bucks and allow us to stay a little bit longer than our usual 4-ish days. We chose the Flamingo Hotel and Casino.

Flamingo Hotel

The Flamingo is an iconic Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. In 1946 mobster Bugsy Seigel opened the Flamingo in Las Vegas, his investment was said to be around $6 million dollars for the new luxury hotel. This was the third Casino floor to be opened in Las Vegas, and today now owned by Caesar’s Entertainment is the last remaining original Hotel and Casino. The pink South Beach meets art deco glamour theme is complete with a Large Casino Floor, Shopping areas, Wildlife Habitat with actual Flamingos, a beautiful pool area, and over 3000 guest rooms.

Now, for my personal experience at this iconic Hotel. We arrived late on a Thursday night, getting to the hotel at around 10:30pm. This is usually a very slow time at area check in desks, but not the case at the Flamingo… it was clamoring with people when we arrived. The desk was understaffed for the volume of check in’s, and we waited in line for almost an hour to get our room information. I’m going to rewind for just a moment. When we booked our trip we booked a standard “Fab” room. This was a mistake! The reviews on these rooms are terrible, and we called a few days before leaving to see if we could upgrade to a newly renovated room. At the time of the call we were told that we would be able to upgrade easily upon check in… ok now back to check in… We requested the newly renovated room only to find out that they were sold out for the night and there were no other rooms available at all of any kind! We were instructed by the staff to return to the mail/key line between 12pm and 2pm the next day to upgrade our room as people were checking out. We agreed and accepted the “Fab” room for one night.

First impression the halls and elevator areas were void of art, had sterile florescent lighting, no accessory furniture, and it felt like a creepy old hospital hallway.

The room was small, the furniture was heavily worn, the floor was dirty, two of the electrical receptacles were broken, and the air conditioner was not really working well. Upon entering we also realized that not only could we not upgrade but we had been placed in a room with two double beds instead of the king room that we booked! The room had newer wood look tile on the floor in the main room, but the bathroom had very old white tile everywhere. The fan in the bath area was so loud that we couldn’t talk to each other from one area to the other. We had a view of the High Roller, a large Ferris wheel, and the mountains.

A

At 8:30a my husband went down to get coffee and stopped to request the upgrade, thankfully he did as they were already running out of upgrade options again! If we had waited until 12pm there wouldn’t have been any way to change rooms. We upgraded to a newly renovated room, and had to wait till between 12pm and 2pm to get the keys to give housekeeping time to clean. At 12:30pm we went to the desk area and it was overwhelmed with people again. We abandoned ship and returned around 2pm and were assigned our new room in the Habitat tower.

This was a night and day difference! The hallways were warmly colored and decorated with beautiful mural wall paper, and decorative touches. It was clean, the lighting was better.

Our room was so cute! Nice new furniture, everything was clean, and well stocked. The view was about the same but oh what a difference this nice fresh room made! Long story short, I’m glad to have stayed for the sake of saying I stayed there…but never again.

Flamingo Renovated room

Slow Blogger Here…

It has been a whirlwind year. I feel like 2018 now way more than half finished has seriously blown past me.

The garden center attempted to stay open all year for the first time in our history and although we saw a few familiar faces now and again, we have decided that for January and Early February in the future we will likely be closed. This gives Andy and I a much needed mental and physical break before hitting the busy stride of the Spring/Summer Season.

I have done a little cooking and baking but really not much. I’m thinking about working through a couple of cooking or baking series for you all… maybe a fall cookie week, or eggs many ways ( I love eggs)… I’m still kicking around some ideas, and am open to suggestions if you have any. Otherwise my poor kitchen has been a revolving door of the plain old usual, nothing fun to report for now.

This Wednesday my husband and I will be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary. We made our annual trip to Las Vegas for some fun. I’ll put together a separate trip post to share with you. I also have a couple of reviews on some of the places we visited while we were there that I’ll share too.

This past weekend was the annual Jackson County Relay For Life. Our team met our $1000 goal, and I am anxious for the final team meeting to see where the final tally lands for the event overall. It’s always a fun and inspiring time, and we really enjoy participating.

And, finally it’s PAGEANT WEEK! Our daughter Brianna is competing as a top ten finalist in the Jackson County Teen USA pageant and I could not be more excited for her! I love pageant week! She has rehearsal daily this week, and Friday night is the big night to cheer her on! She’s a bright beautiful girl and I’m sure she will do great!

My New Year’s resolutions are doing ok…. lol. I think I might actually be turning into a morning person believe it or not, I continue to work out fairly regularly, and now if I could jut make some time for some of my hobbies I’ll be a happy camper. I think that is all I have to report on for now. Let me know your thoughts about a cooking/ baking series for this fall I think if I provide myself with a specific thing to do it will force me to actually do it lol. I’ll post a vacay update, and those reviews soon. Thanks for continuing to support my blogging adventure! Bye for now!

Zak Bagan’s Haunted Museum, Las Vegas- Review

On our frequent trips to Las Vegas, we often look for new interesting attractions to visit. There is certainly no shortage of things to do in this city!

On our trip last August we noticed advertising for a new haunted Museum going in. We thought it looked interesting so we looked it up to find it was opening in the Fall so we kept it top of mind as an option for a quick visit on our next trip. Well here we are back in January and the museum is up and running!

Zak Bagan’s is well known for his television show Ghost Adventures, and while investigating a number of haunted locations he has collected items, and purchased items that are believed to be haunted, are tied to macabre events, or have a unique history about them.

Some of these items include…Bella Lugosi’s mirror, paintings of the crying boys, Dr Kevorkian’s death van, haunted and possessed dolls, and many many more!

This is a little off the beaten path but not difficult to get to. So venture off course a moment and visit. You’ll find a well versed staff of people to guide you through the 30 room mansion that is completely stuffed with items to look at!

Some rooms have specific themes, for example the puppet room, the celebrity collection, the funeral parlor, the doctor’s office, the library, and more! There are surprises everywhere you turn.

Before admittance they ask that you sign a waiver and swear an oath as items in the museum are said to be haunted by demons and ghosts that could attach themselves to you! And while interesting I never felt threatened by anything in the museum.

If items have a particularly devastating history then you are given opportunities not to view them. For example the Dibbuk Box in a room by itself it’s said to contain a demonic entity kept safely under glass surrounded by salt and sage it was a unique piece during the visit. Zak featured this item in one of his shows as well.

All in all this is a very interesting attraction. You don’t have to be a believer to enjoy this collection, there is certainly no lack of imagination in it’s set up, and display. Plan for about an hour to get through the guided tour. At $44/ticket it’s actually well priced and very entertaining. I feel like I could go again and see things I missed the first time, because there is seriously so much stuff in this museum. I hope you find this helpful, Travel safe and have fun!