Tuesday, December 4, 2018

October - The Big Show!!

So as I said in my last post, the days after returning from Vegas flew by!  Before I knew it, October was here and this month is super important in my daughter's dance world.  This is the month of her yearly recital - and there is so much prep for this.  After making a mad dash the day before, to go through everything and go buy whatever was missing, we were ready for the big day!

The morning is same as usual, wake up early, have a great breakfast - we won't be eating much for the rest of the day & jump in the shower.  After the shower its makeup & hair time.

By now, baby girl tries to do some of her makeup but I still do the majority of it - I'm seriously thinking about taking a makeup artist course - well, back to Recital day.  I also have to do her hair, which is such a struggle.  She complains I pull her hair too much, the bun is too low, the bun is too high - yadayadayada.....

Finally, hair & makeup are done - now to put on the dress very carefully so no makeup gets on it & we don't mess up the hair!  I know - we should have put the dress on first but I never think of that.  I must enjoy the struggle.

Everything is on, hair is in place and now its time to load up the car and head to the theatre.  Actually, this year's recital was moved to a high school, because our beloved Park Theatre is being renovated.  It's about time!  It was an inconvenience, but that theatre really needs an overhaul - and I'm not 100% sure it is being renovated, maybe they shut down for good.  Point is this year's show was being held at a neighboring town's high school auditorium.  This worked out fine, the seats were comfortable and best of all there was parking - so it's all good!

We arrived, set up in the dressing room and began the photography session.  LOL, we moms have to take advantage of this day.  The girls are dressed up in these gorgeous dresses and they have no choice but to pose and smile.

It was finally time to begin and it all starts with a graduation, which moved fairly quick.  Then the awards for the rest of the school and then showtime!  This entire show is a mixture of all ages and dances - there is something for everyone and it's a great time!  I love, not only watching my daughter who I am so very proud of but watching all of the other students give it their all up on that stage!  There truly is so much talent there and they all performed beautifully!

10 years of this and I'm still not tired, it still excites me as much as it exhausts me!  It is all worth it to see my Baby Girl up on that stage, doing what she LOVES!

I only hope she continues this dance life, so I can enjoy many more years of this!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

A Step Back

Well, its finally December 1st and I feel its time to take a step back and give a little recap of what has been going on.  I feel like I've been in a whirlwind since returning from Vegas. 

We returned and between work and my personal life - its been non-stop.  The biggest and most emotional moment came on September 26, when I lost my maternal grandmother.  We all grew up a very close-knit family and since my parents divorced when I was 9, we moved in with my mom's parents, my grandparents.  They practically raised me.  I lived with them until I got married and moved out at the age of 19.  She cooked and cleaned for me & my sister, was the one that would wake me up every morning with a cup of warm chocolate milk so I can get ready for school.  She would leave me $2 every day so I can buy lunch.  It wasn't always great - there were hard times, more than once she thought I was crazy and needed psychiatric help because I would lock myself up in my room and blast my music.  She didn't understand the modern teenager...LOL!!

When I got married I didn't see her as much and we did grow apart.  My grandparents and mom moved to Scranton, PA with my sister and I would only see them a few times a year.  But this is something I always took for granted.  Even though I didn't visit often, I always knew she would be there - although the reality is that NO - she wouldn't always be there. 

She started suffering from dementia after a car accident she was in 4 years ago and that is when all the problems began.  A few days prior to the 26th of September, I got a message from my sister saying that my grandmother was in the hospital.  She went in for a urinary tract infection but it went septic - at this point, there was nothing more that could be done and the doctors recommended hospice.  That weekend I went up to visit and spend the day.  She wasn't awake, and they already had her on morphine for the pain.

I went to work that Monday, and by Tuesday my sister called and said that the nurse recommended for everyone to go see her as soon as possible because she didn't have much longer.  That Wednesday, I went back to PA with my hubby and kids.  We spent all day there and it got really late.  My husband couldn't miss another day of work and it was so late that I didn't want him driving back home alone, so I left with them.  An hour after we left, I got the call.  She was gone.  I was heartbroken!  I should have stayed.  That was the longest ride back home ever!! 

The following week was all a blur.  I worked, then the weekend came and I went back up to PA to be with the family.  Her service was the following week and it was beautiful & sad.  So many memories came rushing back.  Now, all we have left is that, memories of her - so many good times, laughs & tears!

I am very fortunate to have been 42 years old when I lost my first grandmother, and still am very fortunate to have my grandfather and my paternal grandparents.  They are all older and I know they won't always be there.  I now am determined to try and spend as much time as I can with them.  I want to have recent memories with them, not just old ones.

Love You Tati!
4Ever in My Heart!

7/9/1936 - 9/26/2018

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

First Trip Out West~Last Trip of 2018!

September was a bit rough for me this year and ever since we got back from this trip, my life has been crazy.  It normally is crazy anyway - who am I kidding?  But its been really hard for me to sit down and write.  I'll get to everything else soon, but this post is about our Las Vegas trip.

Originally, hubby planned this trip for his birthday weekend in August, but after 7 hours of waiting at Newark airport for our United flight - it was canceled.  United could not book us on another flight until a day later, which was ridiculous and we wouldn't have more than 1 day in Vegas so that was not an option.

So, we went back home and planned some more.  We finally decided on the first weekend in September since our daughter was still out of school.  We wouldn't have to worry about her missing school or family having to drive far to get her to school.  So we booked it!

We took off September 1st, really early in the morning, so we'd still have most of the day to enjoy Vegas.

When we arrived we went towards the check-in counter for the bus transfer we had purchased.  Took us a little over 30 minutes, but we were finally at Planet Hollywood!

We checked in but our room wasn't ready, so we left our bags with the bellhop and went out to check out the strip.

Our first stop was right across the street to check out the fountains at the Bellagio.  I've seen them in videos many times but to see them in person was amazing.  It was still daylight, I couldn't wait to see them at night with all of the lights!

We walked some more and then headed to Giada's for our lunch reservation.  We were early, but I hoped they could seat us if there was an open table.  Lucky us!  We got in an hour early.

We started with the Fresh Pastry Assortment.  Everything was delicious!

Hubby had a hard time finding something because he really doesn't like to try new things.  He decided on the spaghetti and meatballs.  I ordered the cavatelli.  He wasn't impressed and he thought the portion was too small.  I, on the other hand, loved my meal!  After lunch, I ordered the Build Your Own Sundae to share with hubby.

After lunch, we walked back to the hotel to see if our room was ready and it was!

Wow!! Our room was Amazing!!! Incredible!!  Hubby really outdid himself!! The room was huge!  The bathroom was huge!  The tub was amazing and the view from the tub and the room were also beautiful!

Of course, we wasted no time in using the tub!

After a nice bath, we got dressed up and headed out on the town!

We walked everywhere, and we went looking for the Harley Davidson dealer like we always do! 

We also stopped at the Flamingo Hotel to check out the flamingo exhibit....I love flamingos!

oh and I started trying the drinks around town.  This slushy margarita was amazing.

So amazing that I took a nap, and we ended up ordering room service.  We were both too tired to go out again!  It was a long day!

The food wasn't great-it was disappointing because the chicked quesadillas looked really good.  Hubby didn't complain about his food, so that was good.
The next morning we had breakfast downstairs at Cafe Hollywood.
Hubby had the banana split French toast - which he loved!

I had eggs benedict - they were delicious

This was a great start to the day.  Then we changed into bathing suits and headed to the pool for a little while.

I had a pina colada while we took in the sun....the pool was freezing!  We tried to get in, but no way - it was too cold!

Afterwards, we cleaned ourselves up and headed to the Miracle Mile Shops

We stopped here at the Tipsy Robot, and decided to get a drink.

It was pretty cool seeing robot arms prepare our drink, and I really did enjoy it.

We continued our walk, there was so much to see.

Beautiful cars almost everywhere we turned.

Then we moved on to the Bellagio to checkout the Conservatory & Botanical Gardens

It was so beautiful.
Next stop - Ceasars Palace

We got hungry so we went by the food court and decided to try some Mexican.

The Mango margarita had this hot pepper in it - OMG was it hot!! The drink wasn't bad though
My tacos were good too, but I wish I would've know I had to buy the sour cream seperate! I found out after and didn't want to make a line again for just sourcream.

We stopped to watch the Fall of Atlantis show

then checked out some of the stores.  I could've bought one of everything, LOL

Then stopped for some gelato - it was so, so good!

After so much walking, I needed some wine and a relaxing soak in the bath.  Did I mention I brought some Lush bath bombs with me?  Did I mention how much I loved this tub?! LOL

When I finally got out of the tub, it was time to get dressed up and head back to the Magic Mile Shops to go see Vegas! The Show

the show was great!  Very entertaining and the performances were excellent!
We also tried to get tickets to Jennifer Lopez's concert, but sadly the seats we could afford were gone.

Back to the strip to check out the night scene and check out some other hotels

and more cars

The next day we had scheduled a half day tour of the Hoover Dam 

This place was amazing

the views are breathtaking

Amazing to learn how much work and how many lives were lost in the construction of this dam.

We ate at the cafe here, and it wasn't so bad.  Finally got my chance to eat a grilled cheese - haven't had one of these in a long time

Then the bus driver took us to the bridge that is directly across from the dam.

This truly was the best view of the dam.  Absolutley beautiful!

When we got back to the hotel, we changed and got comfy.  Then headed to the Gun Store, cuz one of Hubby's birthday gifts was a shooting session at the gun store.

He enjoyed himself and took the targets he shot home.

That evening we had our last dinner reservation.  We went to the Golden Steer which has a lot of history, as well as great food.  I'm not a steak eating person but I couldn't help not ordering a steak & it was delicious.

Our last night in Vegas was unforgettable.  And this view, amazing!

We had a very early morning, so stopped for my Starbucks and then over to the bus stop to wait for our airport shuttle.

Bye Bye Vegas!!

Back in NY!

This was a great trip and I am so thankful for having a great flight.  I've always heard that flights out west were really bumpy and that had me a bit nervous, but it was great.
Hubby really did a great job booking this trip.  We both had an unforgettable trip.

I think this is our last trip of 2018.
Hoping 2019 has many more adventures.

October - The Big Show!!

So as I said in my last post, the days after returning from Vegas flew by!  Before I knew it, October was here and this month is super impor...