Monday, April 16, 2007

My Vegas Vacation

Now that my brother lives, and plays baseball in Las Vegas, I will probably be visiting a lot more often, what is probably one of my most favorite places ever. I had such an interesting time this last weekend, that I thought I would share with you some of the happenings, and maybe expound upon a few of them.

First of all, my Dad and all of his "connections." It doesn't matter where we go, or what we do, there is always someone he knows that does something, or who knows somebody else. This trip was no exception. My Sissy and I went online to see what kind of prices we were looking at and there was absolutley nothing for the weekend we wanted, and come to find out, even our "connections" couldn't get us one. I guess NASCAR was in town or something, not to mention all the other crap that was probably going on at the same time. Then one of the "connections" has a friend who was out of town.

This guy is an NBA basketball referee, who is apparently single and owns a 10,000 sq.ft. house just outside of Vegas. He said his friend was leaving to go out of town, and offered us his house to stay in for free for the weekend. This guy has autographed pictures all over his house of celebrities from the likes of Jack Nicholson, to Muhammed Ali, and George Foreman's "Rumble in the Jungle" fight (this was a very famous fight a very long time ago). So nice except for then my Dad invites a bunch of other people to come stay too, and my prego sissy and I end up sleeping on the floor! RUDE!

Next of all, there were very funny, "only in Vegas would you see..." type of scenarios that I noticed all over, but I wanted to relate only one or two.
At the ballpark in Las Vegas, snow cones are available for an extra $3.00 with a shot of Smirnoff Vodka, Jack Daniels Whiskey, or Bacardi Rum. ONLY IN VEGAS! Very tempting, (or at least very tempting to knock out the two pains in the butt under the age of 4, who were whiney and onery the whole weekend)!!!

One scenario that you would think would be an "only in Vegas" moment, however, this one was the other way around. The first weekend in April, my brother's team the Las Vegas 51's,came to open their season in Salt Lake with games beginning from Thursday and going thru Sunday. We all thought because the Sunday game was on Easter Sunday, there wouldn't be a very big crowd. The crowd was huge. Who wants to go to a baseball game on Easter? Apparently, lots of people in Salt Lake did. Then in Las Vegas, we anticipated the Sunday game to be very crowded, but there were significantly fewer people at the game on non-Easter Sunday, and Vegas is supposed to be Sin City!!!

Lastly, my brother will forever be known as "The Chicken Cheater." We went to Circus Circus so that a few of the kids could play and ride some of the rides since we had a few hours to kill before we had to go to the game. After letting my nephew Easton go on some of the kiddie rides, my brother Mitch was trying to win the kids some prizes at some of the games. One particular game was a chicken catapult of sorts. For $5 or so, you get three rubber chickens which you place on a catapult, and with a hammer you hit the other end of the catapult to launch the chickens. If one of the chickens happen to land in a bucket, you win a prize. One thing you don't do to Mitch is dare him to do something and not expect him to follow through with the dare.

So, my other brother Thad, who drove up from Arizona to watch the games, dared Mitch to just hit the catapult with his hammer, and then throw the chicken into the bucket with his hands when the guy wasn't looking. Sure enough, as soon as the guy turned around, Mitch hits the catapult with the hammer, (it makes a noise btw, kind of like that strong man game with the sledge hammer that the goal is to hit the bell at the top of the scale) and then throws the chickens one at a time into the buckets with his other hand. The first one he missed cause he was trying to hurry before the guy turned around again, but then when he noticed that the guy wasn't really watching all that close, he took his time and made the next two.

I think what was even more funny, was this Asian family who had just won a prize at that game (the correct way) saw what Mitch did, and died laughing at him. I wonder what that worker guy though when he turned around and saw about 10 people laughing at this guy who was pointing out to him that yes, in fact, he had made two chickens in the buckets.

You can't take my family anywhere anymore!

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Closest I'll Ever Be To Stardom

Many thanks to Kristeee for this one!. You should all go check it out.

My cool celebrity look-alike collage from Get one for yourself.

My cool celebrity look-alike collage from Get one for yourself.

I don't know why my pics didn't show upPublish, but just scroll down a bit to a previous post to see a few of the pics I used. Apparantly I look like Amanda Bynes, because she showed up in three different tries. No arguments from me, she is cute, rich, and lots of people like her (who cares if they are mostly little girls...they are still people, and they still like her)!

Anyway, I am almost up to 5,000 Visitors, let me know if you end up being the 5,000th and you'll get a prize if I like you enough!!! (The counter is on your left below all the links and junk).

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

At Long Last!!!

I have been waiting for this moment since I became a self-proclaimed food critic!!! Stupid Utah does not have have The Cheesecake Factory yet. My question is how does Boise, Idaho get one before Salt Lake City??? RUDE!!! Even my waiter, Gustoffer (that was REALLY his name) thought that was bogus!

Last weekend (plus a couple of extra days), I decided I better take my long overdue vacation and go see my friend Mjillie up in Boise. I had a frequent flyer ticket that had to be used up before May, so I figured now was as good a time as any to go. The only stipulation I had with her about coming was that we HAD to go to The Cheesecake Factory at some point. Last time I was up there visiting, which was November I think, we happened to be in the mall and noticed a sign that advertised that The Cheesecake Factory was coming in the Fall of '06. Now that is was winter, we set out to go look for it. We couldn't find it, and figured that it was part of the construction/remodel mess they had going on. I was so sad!!!

I knew that both she and her husband didn't care about this restaurant as much as I did (who really ever does). They were good sports and came along with me anyway. As usual, I apologized ahead of time, telling them there is no way to know what service they might encounter. Believe it or not, we had an EXCELLENT waiter. I gave him a 20% tip!

One of the main reasons I had to eat here (besides the fact it is freaking good) is that I had to try out their Chicken Madeira. Last summer I ate at the one just outside of Denver, Colorado, and decided to be daring and order something new. It paid off! Shameonyou21 found a copykat recipe and she and I have attempted to make it a few times. Ours turns out fabulous, of course, but neither of us could remember exactly how the original was, so this was a good way for me to compare the two. According to my self-proclaimed expertise, I think we do a fantabulous job of imitating, if not exceeding it in our version of the dish. (That means that ours is better)!

If you have not had this made by me yet, when are you going to throw a dinner party and hire me to cook it??? Get with the program already!

The only criticism I had with this particular location, is that the dining room is very small. For how popular of a place this is, and it is unlikely that you have less than a 30 minute wait no matter when you go, it seems odd to me that such a small dining room is really going to last--even with the soon-to-be patio seating.

Our service was prompt, they kept up on our drinks, they refilled our bread, the food was what we ordered and the right temperature and it was freaking good, they had a blender so I was able to order me a virgin strawberry daiquiri, and they have cheesecake! What more do you need in a food establishment???