Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tacoma Daycation




A friend of ours, Tim Cross, has some of his work showing at the Tacoma Art Museum as part of the Neddy Fellowship Award Exhibition. I think that is pretty cool to get your stuff in a museum, congratulations Tim! Not wanting to miss it my friends Jeff and Geno and I decided play tourist for an afternoon in Tacoma.

The Tacoma Art Museum is small and has some interesting works in it and like everything in Tacoma they love their Chihuly glass. This outdoor installment was really pretty, as the light changed in the afternoon the colors and shadows did too.


After finishing up at the museum we walked over to Central Station, the old railroad station now a Federal building housing a big Chihuly exhibit.

From there we walked over the Bridge of Glass and wandered around outside the Museum of Glass. There is a really fun fountain called the Water Forest, water collects on the top of each cylinder and when the breeze comes up it blows the water off. On this hot and sunny day we felt like kids playing in it!


Our Chihuly walking tour came to an end at The Swiss where we stopped for beers and sandwiches before heading back to Seattle. We were told that he spent a lot of time eating at The Swiss and gave them these pieces as a "thank you".

Tacoma is actually quite pretty with all it's brick buildings and interesting museums. It was really clean and really quiet and we all commented on the bad rap it gets. And then the breeze blew... aroma... and we headed home! Thanks Jeff & Geno for a fun day trip!

All the photos (taken only with my iPhone this time) are here

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Viva Las Vegas!


Every year a group of my girlfriends get together and invade Las Vegas. It started out A LONG time ago and we use to go in December for my birthday. A couple of days in Vegas right before Christmas was actually really relaxing- you were whisked away from the last minute shopping and holiday stress and plopped in a chair at a less busy than normal blackjack table with Christmas carols playing on the sound system. I can remember our financial status' by the hotels we stayed in- Harrahs, Flamingo, TI, Mirage...



photo courtesy of
brookenbria


For my bachelorette party (hen's night to you Aussie's!) 6 years ago (next month!) we of course went to Vegas. And the yearly party switched from a winter to a summer thing. Some go every year and some we haven't seen for a while. There have been pregnant attendees and those who have left newborns at home with dads. But I'm happy to say I have attended every year and will continue to do so (since I look upon it as my little party!).

No Vegas trip is complete without a trip to In-n-Out Burger, this year we had a kick ass limo driver who took us to the drive thru! Yeah, double double animal style in style!

This year I put the girls in charge of the hotel decisions and kept the limo & restaurant reservations as my job. Ally did a great job of getting us beautiful and connecting rooms at the Wynn Encore. I can't say enough about the staff at the Encore. The service here was really top notch! Our bell hop even took time to show us around our room, including a lesson in using the bedside remote for lights, tv, drapes, etc. There are two pools, one family style and one European pool where you have to be 21 to be in. This was awesome as we never heard or ran into any kids! They have a rule that you aren't allowed to take pictures at this pool either...


photo courtesy of Ally Cox


Some of us went to the spa at the Encore for massages and all declared it the best of the Vegas spas and our massages in our top 3, really it is fantastic and I highly recommend!

Our girl Ally is turning 40 this month so as a treat we had a little surprise party for her before going out to an awesome dinner at Bouchon on Saturday night.

photo courtesy of brookenbria

Brooke and Michelle did a great job of decorating the room and setting up a nice table of snacks. Ally's husband Dino surprised her by sending 2 beautiful bottles of Schramsburg Champagne up to our room. And we all brought fun little presents for the girl of the hour.

Four years ago during one of the annual trips we also had dinner at Bouchon. The Bouchon Bakery was opening the same weekend we were in town so I asked our waiter if Chef Keller happened to be in the restaurant that night. When he said "yes" I asked if he could come to our table for a minute. Chef Keller came out and actually sat with us for a bit, signing all our menus and being very gracious. At the end of the evening he sent out every dessert on the menu for us to enjoy. When we were seated this time we realized we were at the same table and had the same waiter, he remembered our experience also and at the end of our dinner the kitchen sent out every dessert on the menu again. Very nice and an easy way to make us all feel very special!

A few nights of late night gambling, drinking cocktails non stop, laughing our asses off, hanging out at the spa, playing "Wheel of Fortune", singing the Party Pit song and catching up on all the celebrity gossip makes for a very fun weekend with the girls. I'm already thinking about next year...