Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Love is in the air

First off sorry this took me 8 and a half years to finally post this...

Secondly, sorry blogger is being weird and not letting me post the pictures in any correct order or in place. So I hope you can just look at them and enjoy for the time being. Lame. If you have any questions, please ask.

Well February certainly was an exciting month for Ryan and I. We have both been working hard at our jobs and the weather has been quite nice here! We have had some pretty snowfalls and some beaitiful sunny days. We have also been excited to celebrate our first anniversary!

Well the first day of fun started with Valentine's Day. Ryan and I both went to work but I was able to sneak a little thing of chocolate and a card into his bag and enjoyed that throughout the day... Yes, I realize that I am the wife and should enjoy getting chocolate for myself but sadly, I am defunct and don't like it. But then we came home and had an amazing evening. I made Ryan his favorite meal, cranberry and walnut chicken with rice pilaf and a spinach and strawberry salad. It was sooo good! I also made turtle brownies for dessert since that is Ryan's favorite dessert. Then after dinner, we went to go see The Vow. Needless to say, I cannot emotionally handle movies and I was a wreck the whole time. I was a little sad about the ending. I wanted to see them date and get closure for myself. But, c'est la vie. Then we came home and Ryan and I exchanged presents. He got me an amazing gift basket filled to the brim with Mary Kay goodies! I was so excited. He did a great job. I got him (and me) a glass blowing class to make flowers and vases in Lehi for the first weekend in March. Gotta love Groupon for giving you awesome ideas for fun things to do! :) All in all it was an amazing day and it was so fun to celebrate this special day with my wonderful husband.

Next! Onto the anniversary! So on February 16th Ryan and I celebrated our one year anniversary! It was a great day although there were (inevitably) some mishaps. I wanted to surprise Ryan with a special Peruvian dinner at home. FAIL. That's all I have to say. I apparently need to go to Peru to learn how to actually make aji de gallina. Because the recipe I followed sucked. Regardless, we still had a fun night together and it was nice to relax at the end of the week and gear up for our real celebration in Las Vegas over the long weekend.

Now... Las Vegas. Have I ever mentioned that I love long weekends and getting out of Provo? Because I REALLY do. Ryan and I headed out to Sin City on Saturday morning and had a lovely clear and fast drive down to Las Vegas. We got there around 9:15ish and went to the Las Vegas temple to do an endowment session. We ate at the temple cafeteria first though because we were starving by then. The temple was seriously gorgeous. It was our first time there and we were so taken aback by how big and beautiful it was! Definitely a temple worth visiting. Anyway, the session was lovely and we really enjoyed having that as our way to start our trip.

Ryan and I wanted to try and see a show while we were in town so we decided to try and hit up the ticket offices before we checked into our hotel. Well it was a madhouse there and were too lazy to figure out plans so we just went and checked into our place. It was perfect. We stayed at the Royal Resort. Literally it is less than a block off the strip behind the Wynn and it was quiet, had great rooms and a beautiful pool and spa complete with cabanas. It was a really fun and chill place to stay and we really enjoyed it.

That night (Saturday) I had made surprise reservations for us at an AMAZING restaurant called Marrakech. It is a Morraccan restaurant in Las Vegas that serves a six course Arab meal. All I can say is that it is totally worth it and a wonderful experience. The whole restaurant is dimly lit and modeled after a Bedouin tent. With low seating and beautiful funirture, it was really fantastic. They wash your hands with scented rose water before the meal and then the barage of food begins. The meal begins with delectable shrimp scampi and homemade bread. It was so nice to eat with my hands again... Sometimes silverware gets very boring... Then they brought out the Harira soup which is lentils and broth and herbs and veggies. OH MY GOODNESS it was so good. I finished Ryan's I wanted more. Yum. Then it was the dipping tray of homemade hummus and babaganoush with cucumbers, carrots and fresh bread. We loved having some authentic food again. Then it was time for the beef kabobs. The beef was marinated slightly in herbs and olive oil and vinegar and grilled to perfection. They were delicious. Ryan finished mine because he loved it. Then, it was onto the chicken and couscous with vegetables. Wow. The chicken literally melted in your mouth. It was cooked low and slow for hours and served with cabbage and zuchinni with lightly flavored couscous. Oh man it was so good. By this time of course Ryan and I were stuffed to the rafters but we still had the dessert course left. And oh what a wonderful way to fill yourself up... As soon as the pastry arrived Ryan and I both knew that this was worth waddling home for. It was a phyllo pastry filled with sauteed bananas, almonds and dark chocolate. It was wrapped in the dough and baked and then dusted with powdered sugar. Needless to say, even I loved this dessert and I don't really care for chocolate. It was no wonder that when it was brought to us Ryan's first sentence was, "What is this blessedness?!"

It was an amazing meal. And when it comes with belly dancing and fun Arabs could it get any better? I submit that it cannot.... But then it did.... Right before our last course, Ryan and I were blessed with the opportunity to see the joys of America as an overweight, white American man came into the restuarant with a big group of about 20 people. He was wearing a Pharonic head dress and he looked ridiculous. For those of you who are wondering why this is weird, let me educate you on this culture. First off, Morocco is no where near Egypt. They are a completely different people and culture and even their Arabic is not the same.... So that is for starters.... Now to really help you understand how dumb this was... It would be like someone going into Fuddrucker's dressed as an ancient Incan thinking that they were celebratiing the same American culture. Stupid. Not only are they radically different 'Americas' they are also a thousand years older! Regardless, this man gave Ryan and I some great memories and we thoroughly enjoyed watching this group and their Pharonic leader. We had a good laugh about the whole night and realized how much we miss being over in the Middle East. And we are even more determined now to make a trip to Morocco someday soon.

After dinner we went and met up with our wonderful friends, Moose and April & Kylie and Jason. We went to the new City Center with the shops and new hotels. It was really fun. It was great to see Kylie and Jason since they live in Las Vegas and are expecting their first baby! We loved seeing them and especially Moose and April who are our close friends here in Provo. We just love both of these couples and it was great to catch up and spend some time with them. We walked around and enjoyed the usual moments of the Las Vegas strip... the drunk people, the women falling down the stairs, the homeless men, the porno sellers and the aroma of weed, alcohol, throw up and cigarettes. All in all, its a pretty disgusting place haha. But we enjoyed ending the night off by watching the Bellagio fountains and realizing that only the Belagio could make water dancing sexy. So bravo Belagio. Thank you for all you do.

The next day was Sunday and we decided to relax by the pool and hang out during the day. It was sunny and 65 and it was a great day to lounge outside and catch some much needed sun. We both fell asleep on the chairs. But after relaxing and being lazy, it was time to get ready for our Cirque du Soleil show! We had bought tickets to go see Mystere at Treasure Island for that night. So we both got all dolled up and headed onto the strip to grab some dinner and to go to the show. We ate in the Venetian at an overpriced Italian restaurant. I got a veggie pizza and Ryan got salmon. Mine was definitely better than his :) But then it was off to the show and wow it was spectacular. I highly reccommend going to a Cirque show sometime. The gymnasts were incredible and the dancing was beautiful. It was so entertaining and we just had an amazing time. It is kind of hard to describe the show since there is no real storytelling or lines. Its just, well, French Canadian and they don't really need to make that much sense... But we loved it. After the show we went back to the Venetian and got some gelato and sat on the waterway and watched the gondolas drift by. We loved looking through all the shops and seeing both beautiful and horrific clothing. We found an awesome hats shop and spent a good 15 minutes trying on all the different hats. Afterwards we went back to the hotel and I was asleep within 10 minutes. I was beat.

Well Monday was our last day in Las Vegas. We slept in and got our things together to check out. Sadly it was a little too cold to relax by the pool again but that forced us to go back to the strip for one last hurrah! We checked out and went to the Belagio again to check out the gardens. They were gorgeous! It was all decorated for Chinese New Year with native plants and flowers. They had moving dragons and beautiful fountains, pagodas and rock gardens. The towers of bamboo were amazing and I was once again so impressed with the decadence and beauty of this awesome hotel. We went across the way down to Cesar's Palace and enjoyed walking around the shops there and being out in the beautiful weather. By noon I was starving so we decided to go to the Rio Buffet for lunch to fill ourselves up for the ride home. We had a good meal there of tamales, sushi, salad, chinese food and desserts. My favorite dessert was definitely the tropical cream tarts. So good! Well then we ended our trip and headed back to Provo. We were so sad to see the temperature drop and drop and drop the closer we got and the 4 hour drive felt like a 10 hour drive. But we had great memories of the weekend to help up gear up for work the next day.

We had such an amazing trip and there really is nothing better than spending time with your spouse. I couldn't ask for a better husband or a better trip. We just loved it.