Sunday, September 18, 2016

My Trip Out West

Let me start out by saying how blessed and grateful I am. Because of my husbands great job, I am able to do something I love: travel. 

I try to get out to Vegas to see my best friends (Katey and Emily) once a year. I figured since I was going to be out West I would also go visit some family and friends that are still in Utah.

On Sunday, September 4th, Josh (super sad his job wasn't over yet so he couldn't come with me) dropped me off at the airport and I caught a non-stop flight to Vegas ($99! Thanks Southwest!). I arrived, picked up my adorable rental car, and then headed to Emily's house.

I was so EXCITED to see my girlfriends (aka "hohos") I could barely contain myself! It's one of the hard things about working on the road. I don't get to see my girls and have girl-time very often.

When I arrived they asked me what I wanted to do and, of course, I said I needed to eat at In-n-Out and Cafe Rio! And that's what we did!

Over the next few days we went to Cafe Rio, 

[Steak salad with house dressing!]

[Me, Katey, Scotty, Kenny, and Emily]
played with the adorable kids,
went on a road trip to Logandale,
ate at In-n-Out,

[Hamburger (add pickle, no onion), fry-well, and a chocolate shake]

got pedicures, 

went on a train ride, 

listened to screaming babies,

ate Nielsen's Frozen Custard,  

played at the park,
reminisced about the good ole days,
went on a McDonald's picnic to watch the planes land,

[The little boys would scream every time a plane flew over!] 

and played with puppies at the pet store!

[This little guy looked sad so we asked to hold him!]

[He was so sweet and adorable! I even picked out a Packers jersey for him and told Josh I was bringing him home. But then I remembered I was allergic :-( Bummer...]

On our last night we sent the kids to the babysitter and headed to The Strip! Woot Woot! Party Time! Girls Night Out! #HohosTakeVegas2016!

We started our adventure at 5:00 PM with dinner at Walburgers (which was pretty good for a burger joint). 

 We chatted and some secrets were reveals. Due to these secrets we had charge Katey with three counts of breaking the Bro Code (don't ask, I can't reveal the charges, because, you know, 'cause of the Bro Code). Her punishment is buying us gelato at the Bellagio!

After dinner we walked across the street where we walked through the Bellagio Garden and got gelatos!

Thanks for the gelato Katey! **Side note: It's been 7 years since the three of us backpacked through Italy together. On that trip we ate two gelato's A DAY! Good times!**

After getting our treats we headed outside to watch the Bellagio Fountains!

After a great night we headed back to the babysitters house, picked up the boys, and made it home by 8:30 PM! I guess we are getting old!

Love you girls like crazy! Thanks for such a fun week! Next time, #HohosTakeChicago2017!

I want to give a special shout out to Kenny (Emily's husband) for putting up with us giggly girls for the last few days! 

I had so much fun in Vegas but it was time for me to head north!

The next morning, September 8th, I checked out of the Fiesta Casino Hotel, got some In-n-Out, and headed to Cedar City.

I love the drive from Vegas to Cedar. I know it's flat and kinda "ugly" but I've spent so much time walking around this area that I can literally point out the window at any given time and tell you what is out there (archaeological site, historic homestead, pipeline ROW, etc.). I miss it sometimes. I really do.

["The Corridor"]

After a few hours I made it to my old stomping grounds: Cedar City!

I drove around and I couldn't stop taking pictures of the beautiful red rocks and the PJ forest! 

At 6:00 PM I met up with one of my favorite Archaeologist, Sam! We had dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurants before heading over to Sub Zero for dessert. We ended up talking until 1:30 AM! We obviously had A LOT to catch up on! Sam also gave me back my old archaeological analysis binder. It's fun to see all the artifacts that I've analyzed over the years and all my references. 

The next day, September 9th, I left Cedar and drove to SLC to meet up with my BYU Freshman roommate, Lacey! I can't believe we met 13 years ago! Totally insane! It's been a long time since I've had good Thai food so we went to a restaurant where we could get some curry before heading into the city to get some dessert! It was so fun catching up with you Lacey!

The next day, September 10th, I met up with Luke and Andie at their cute apartment! After catching up we headed out into Provo! They drove me around the BYU campus to show me how much things had changed since I was there. We then went to JDawgs for lunch! 

[When I was in college JDawgs ran out of this little shack. Now they are expanding and have opened numerous restaurants.]

[Best hot dog EVER!]

We then drove by the Pistachio Hut where I lived my senior year at BYU! Eek! So many memories!

After that we went to the famous BYU Creamery where we got some of their famous Chocolate Milk and Cookies N Cream Milk! So delicious!

After drinking our milk we went to the store to get some game food for the Holy War! Sadly, BYU lost but it was a great game! 

The next day I hung out with Luke and Andie again. We played Wii and went to CPK for lunch :-)  It was so much fun hanging out my family. I am very excited to see them next summer at the Neilson and Stringam family reunions!

The next morning, September 12th, I left Orem, grabbed some lunch at DP Cheesesteaks (YUM!), and went to the City Creek Mall in downtown SLC. I walked around the mall for a while (gotta get in my steps) before heading over to Temple Square. The leaves are starting to change and SLC is really beautiful this time of year!

That night I met up with my friend Syanna and her husband Tom. Syanna and I go way back to college! She went through my major with me, we were tent-mates at field school, and we backpacked through Great Britain together back in 2008. It was so much fun to see her and finally meet her husband! We made plans to go to the Salt Lake Comic Con next year and I could not be more excited!

AND she made me this adorable BB-8! I love him! Thanks Sy!

For my final night in SLC I met up with my old roommate Lisa! We lived in SLC together after I graduated from college. We went to dinner with some of her friends and then the two of us went to The Pie for dessert. Lisa told me all about the "tiny house" she is building and I filled her in on my life in Illinois! It was so great to see you and thanks for allowing me to move into your house all those years ago!

Well, my quick and busy trip out West has come to and end. Thanks to everyone who hosted me and if you ever find yourselves in the Chicago area please let me know!

[I thought this was funny: this is the view from my "limited view room" at the Sheraton in SLC. Yes, it was limited, very limited!]

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