Monday, November 21, 2011

Vegas: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly…and the Beautiful

Charley and I recently returned from what’s becoming our annual Vegas mini vacation. Charley typically has a show in November at Coda Gallery in Palm Desert, California. For the last three years we’ve stop in Las Vegas for a few days on the way home from California. Here are the details of this year’s trip.

The Bad and the Ugly

On the first evening of our trip Charley and I had the most memorable meal of our lives…and not in a good way. This meal was easily the worst meal either of us have ever been served.

We arrive in Vegas pretty late and we were too tired to get all cleaned up to go to a nice restaurant.  We thought about room service but thought it might take too long for the food to get to our room…we were starving. Charley had been to a Mexican/Cuban restaurant that was just a short walk from our hotel several times and had liked it. It was casual and quick, so we decided to give it a try…big mistake!

I had eaten Cuban food several times when I lived in New York and loved it. So, I ordered off of the Cuban menu and Charley followed my lead (he’d only order from the Mexican menu in the past)

I also order a margarita and this is where the meal started to go bad. We really should have walked out after I tasted that horrible margarita. It was truly disgusting. It was made from a syrupy mix instead of real juice, but that’s not what was so bad about it. It tasted less like a margarita and more like was comes up after you’re had a few too many margaritas. I’m not kidding. It was that bad.

Then our food came and thing went from bad to worst. My food was bland and mostly tasted like old Crisco. Charley’s food was the worst. He had some kind of tamale thing that tasted to me like bile (vomit was a taste theme with this meal). He thought it tasted like chemicals and burnt hair. It definitely didn’t taste like food.  We decided someone must have been given a very bad perm in the kitchen which resulted in contamination of our food…or the kitchen staff was trying to poison us…I don’t know what we ever did to them.

The Good

After that meal things got much better and we even had some great meals. We eat at the Bellagio’s famed gourmet buffet, where I eat two heaping platefuls of delicious pasta, cheese, meat, and seafood (including sushi) and finish my meal with a third plate of desserts. The desserts where amazing and between the two of us, we eat nine.

We also eat breakfast at Hash House A Go Go twice where we consumed various forms of eggs Benedict piled eight inches high…so yummy!

Number 3 favorite activity from this trip: The Shark Reef aquarium at Mandalay Bay, which was small but fabulous. My favorite part was the jellyfish. They were so beautiful and graceful. Here a little video I took with my phone:

Number 2 favorite activity:  Neon Boneyard. The Neon Boneyard is part of the Neon Museum and is where many of old Vegas’ sign now reside. Starting next year the Boneyard will be open to the public, but now you have to make a reservation for one of the few tours they offer. I’ve wanted to see the Boneyard for years (I can’t resist the kitsch), so this was a very exciting opportunity. Here some of the photo I shot of this very cool place:

The Beautiful

Number 1 favorite activity: Cirque du Soleil LOVE. LOVE, which is based on Beatles music, was absolutely extraordinary. The dance, acrobatics, costumes, and lighting came together with the music to create something that was truly beautiful to the eye and moving to the soul. You must see this show if you ever have the opportunity. It was stunning. I wanted to see it again immediately after it was over…I literal would have gone right back in to the theater to see it again if I could have.

It was a great trip…minus the Cuban food. I’m already looking forward to next year’s Vegas trip.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Charley's Latest Show

Charley currently has a show at Coda Gallery in Palm Desert, California. I flew down there last weekend for the opening and then the two of us drove back through Las Vegas, where we had a mini vacations (more stories to come).The opening was successful and so far eight paintings have sold…I’m so proud of my talented husband!

Here are some photos I took at the opening:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Are the End Times Near?

I’m not a religious person, nor have I ever read the bible, but lately I noticed some things I find very disturbing…could they be signs of the imminent apocalypse? (I’m only kidding, of course.)

Sign #1 – Forever Lazy

Have you seen this new product? Its name says it all…a clear sign that the human race is going in the wrong direction. Are we really so lazy that simple tasks like operating a thermostat (or blanket) or pulling down your pants to use the restroom are too complicated? Are there really people out there that are thinking, “Oh man, I wish I didn’t have to work so hard to keep myself covered with this blanket”?

If we can’t be bothered with using a blanket, can being too lazy to eat be far off? At the very less, if this product catches on, birth rates will plummet…nothing says, “Let’s get it on,” like a brightly colored, oversized, fleece onesie.  My favorite scene in this ridiculous infomercial is the couple sharing a romantic moment on the deck…I’m pretty sure that date isn’t ending in the bedroom.

Sign #2 – Pajama Jeans (and the wearing of regular pajamas in public)

Again, are we really that lazy? I just have two things to say about pajama jeans (and the general trend to wear pajama pants in public):
  1. If I managed to put on pants this morning, so can you, and
  2. If your jeans are really that uncomfortable and hard to put on, try buying the next size up.

Sign #3 – The existence of these:

Enough said.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Work of Andy Goldworthy

Recently, Charley introduced me to the work of an amazing artist – sculptor, photographer and naturalist, Andy Goldworthy. His work is so moving, so breathtaking, I had to share it with you.

Andy Goldworhty uses natural, found objects, like leaves, flowers, sticks, rocks, and even ice to create large scale sculptural installations in nature. His work is made from nature and becomes part of the natural environment, where is subject to nature’s forces and often only lasts in the photographs he take of it. The end result is magical and, for me, very emotional. This is what he says about his work and process: "I enjoy the freedom of just using my hands and ‘found’ tools--a sharp stone, the quill of a feather, thorns. I take the opportunities each day offers: if it is snowing, I work with snow, at leaf-fall it will be with leaves; a blown-over tree becomes a source of twigs and branches. I stop at a place or pick up a material because I feel that there is something to be discovered. Here is where I can learn."

Charley and I watched an amazing documentary about him and his work called “Rivers and Tides.” It is available for streaming from Netflix, and I highly recommend you watch it. Here’s the trailer: