As usual, I had big plans for my "free time" following the end of classes. Unfortunately, my dentist infringed on my time and my wallet and I was unable to do all the things I had wanted the Thursday and Friday after classes ended. I did bake cupcakes, but I had to use a boxed cake mix instead of making them from scratch (booo), but I did make the frosting from scratch, my favorite Chocolate Buttercream Icing. The girls in my Self-Esteem Group loved them and we enjoyed our little end-of-the-group party. Then I took the remaining cupcakes to Shane's for him and Josh to eat and what was left was taken to Metro for Carebear and coworkers. This is how I manage to bake all the time and still fit through the door!
Immediately following all of that was my trip to Las Vegas! Without boring you with all of the details, here is a quick synopsis. My sister and I were taking the trip to celebrate my 25th birthday together, something we decided to do just as sisters for each big 5th year birthday starting with her 25th in 2008 (Los Angeles). We flew in to Vegas to spend the week with my college friend Taylor and his fiance Brittany. Their friends Tommy and Liz were major players in the festivities.
Tuesday: Taylor's softball game, Buffalo Wild Wings for beer and wings, BED (it was super late eastern time at this point and Lorin and I had crashed)
Wednesday: Pool at Taylor's and Brittany's, then Tommy took us to The Pond, a really snazzy pool at Green Valley Resort. Later Brittany met up with us and we played beer pong in the pool (so fun!) and then picked up pizzas for dinner.
Thursday: Lorin and I didn't get into a lot because we were dreading doing the Strip without our ever-faithful tour guide, Tommy. Eventually we did go out to drinks with Tommy at The Yard House and Blue Martini. That night we ate at Shabu-Shabu with Liz, Taylor and Brittany. The concept of the restaurant is fun - it means "Swish-Swish" in English and you are served raw meat that you swish around in these pots of boiling water in front of you...sort of a Fondue-meets-Asian Cuisine concept. Then they took us somewhere to see the Strip all lit up at night... SPECTACULAR!!
Friday: Lorin and I packed and got ready for the evening's festivities; we had reserved 2 rooms at the Rio so we could all hang out on the Strip and not worry about cabbing it home. The rooms were incredible and we pregamed there. Then we headed upstairs to the VooDoo Lounge which is on the 50th floor of the Rio with incredible views of Las Vegas. The atmosphere was great and so was the company.
Saturday: We all woke up and some of us had breakfast downstairs (yay mimosas!) then we headed to the Bikini Beach which was 21 and up (no kids!). We spent the day there drinking and hanging out and had a great time. We all headed back and took cat naps before rallying and going to Crown and Anchor off the Strip. It was really chill and relaxed, but after the exhausting day in the sun, we needed something a bit more upbeat, so we headed to Green Valley Resort to gamble and play beer pong at Quinn's (Taylor had been raving about this since before we landed in Vegas, so I had to check it out).
Sunday: We all woke up at Taylor's and Brittany's to Taylor making breakfast...GLORIOUS! And since no breakfast is complete without Mimosas, we of course had those. Then Lorin had the great idea that we would go hiking at Red Rock, something the rest of us had decided late the night before was not going to happen...we were wrong. As an act of rebellion for not letting him lie by the pool and drink, Taylor picked the most difficult hike possible. It was indescribably beautiful, but my body was not in hiking mode, so I made it about half way up and stopped on a big rock to enjoy the scenery while the rest of them hiked on. We all survived the hike and that night went back to Taylor's and Brittany's for dinner. Delicious!Monday: Tommy took the day off to show us the Strip...the one thing we had left undone in Las Vegas. We saw everything we wanted to see: City Center; Bellagio's Botanical Gardens, Fiori di Como "chandelier" (aka: ceiling), and the Fountains of Bellagio; Caesar's Palace; and the famous Las Vegas sign! Then we took Tommy to dinner at Firefly to thank him for spending his days with us and Lorin and I went to Cirque du Soleil's Mystere. It was a bittersweet last day; we were so happy to be leaving on such a good note, having seen everything Vegas has to offer, but sad because of all of the fun we had and the people we met along the way.
Now, I'm back and recovered from my cold and jet lag, but I only have a couple of days until the madness begins again. So, I will make no promises on when more cupcakes will be baked, but please keep checking back!