Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mum & Craig's Visit

On Tuesday Mom, Mum and I had breakfast at the Peppermill before picking Craig up from the airport. I love this place. It has all the old Vegas tackiness and huge portions of food.  That was it for the day.

On Wednesday, Mum, Craig and I dropped Lynn off early in the morning for her return to Charlotte. We then spent the rest of the day doing stuff around town on Mum and Craig's last full day in the US. 

We started at the Gun Store where Craig and I did some sharp shooting. It's amazing that we foreigners love to come here, seeing as though guns are banned at home. Afterwards we drove down to the Silverton Casino and had lunch inside the Sundance Cafe. Once we were done with lunch, we sent Craig into heaven - the Bass Pro Shop. All your fishing, boating and hunting needs under one roof. Actually, even I was impressed. This place was huge! And could almost lead to a new hobby (except we're in the middle of the desert, where it is stinking hot all summer long). We drove home via the Red Rock area so they could see another side of this town. For our last meal we went to Aria, as I had a comp meal at American Fish. This was much better than I thought it would be. I'm not a huge seafood eater (so I had a steak) but everyone enjoyed their meals. And the service was impeccable with a great, open atmosphere.

On their last day I had to work, but got to spend some of the afternoon with them before taking them out to the airport. I'm pretty sure they enjoyed staying with us, I know Amy and I loved having them here. I just hope Mum is kicking herself for waiting 10 years to come and see us, and will not wait so long to do it again.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mum & Craig's Visit

Early on Monday, Craig flew to California for the night to visit some friends. Amy and I worked, so who knows what the mums spent the day talking about! In the evening the four of us went to Nora's Wine Bar for dinner. As usual a great meal had at this fabulous restaurant.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Mum & Craig's Visit

I had 2 days before I returned to work so Mum and I spent Tuesday and Wednesday just hanging out. Not doing anything in particular - just showing her the sights of Vegas - including a ride out to Lake Las Vegas. 

Craig returned from Chicago the following day, and he and Mum played tourist while Amy and I worked.

Early on Saturday, while I was at work, Mom arrived to spend a few days with us in Mum and Craig's final week. We spent the evening by the pool, having a BBQ, and was joined by Amy's colleague, Gary. Was the perfect night to be eating outside. Great weather, good food and perfect company.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Arctic Monkeys @ House Of Blues




Finally The Arctic Monkeys come to Las Vegas. I have been waiting for this for years - so much so that I couldn't wait any longer and drove to LA to see them last year. But I was psyched to see them in the relatively small House Of Blues.....as were many, many other people. HOB has not been this packed since the Foo Fighters back in 2003.


ABH, The Hills and I walked in just before kick off and had to settle for a spot near the back and while the set started pretty lively, the band and crowd seemed quite tame. People reacted best to songs off the first album, but they were few and far between. The Monkeys seemed distant and as if they were going through the motions. Spooner, closer to the front, said Alex was absolutely ripped and lucky to be standing.

Overall a bit lacklustre, with my highlights being I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor and Nick Cave's Red Right Hand. Disappointing but I won't give up on them yet.

Setlist
Dance Little Liar / Brianstorm / This House Is A Circus / Still Take You Home / If You Were There, Beware / Potion Approaching / Joining The Dots / My Propeller / Crying Lightning / The View From The Afternoon / Cornerstone / Fire And The Thud / I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor / Pretty Visitors / Do Me A Favor / Red Right Hand (Nick Cave & Bad Seeds cover) / 505
Encore: Fluorescent Adolescent / Nettles

Sidenote: Spooner followed them to Mexico City and Guadalajara and said both shows were brilliant.

The Crap Facts:
This is my 294th concert.
This is my 34th concert at House Of Blues.
This is my 90th concert in Las Vegas.
This is my 90th concert in Nevada.
This is my 101st concert in the USA.
This is my 2nd Arctic Monkeys concert.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mum & Craig's Visit

The morning started early as I took Craig out to the airport as he was spending a couple of days in Chicago before coming back to Vegas. After that the Mums, Aamy and I did some driving around Charlotte. We drove out to Charlotte Country Club, where we had our wedding reception. We also stopped at Christ Episcopal, where we were married. It was great for Mum to see and as a bonus we got to see Lisa who married us. 

Lunch was at Amy's favorite place, Providence Cafe. A wonderful meal sitting on the patio enjoying the North Carolina spring. We spent the afternoon at Mom's before flying home in the early evening.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Mum & Craig's Visit

Drew & Mason picked us up on the way to breakfast at the Original Pancake House. We then went to Target - for Mum to compare and contrast to her Australian employer. From there we headed to Uptown Charlotte, so Craig could get a look at Panthers Stadium. Spent some time wandering around there before heading back to an afternoon of relaxation and seeing Drew & Mason off, as they headed back home to Greenville, SC.

Mum & Mom outside Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Mum & Craig's Visit

We started the morning with a visit to Amy's grandmother, Oni. The Matriarch was as great as always. And I was so happy for Mum to meet her (finally). 

In the afternoon we said goodbye to Don & Nancy and drove up to Charlotte to spend the next 2 nights with Amy's mom. It was like old home week for Mom, Mum and Craig as we spent the afternoon and evening just hanging out and walking around the neighborhood where Amy grew up. Dinner was a combo of Mom's home cooking and Prices Chicken Coop. Mmmmmm It's good to be back in the south.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Mum & Craig's Visit

After a wander around the farm we were graced by the Chichester ladies, who had stayed in Charlotte an extra couple of days to see Amy. We spent the day on the farm and watched as the girls and Craig fished in the pond. The weather could not have been better, especially after the pouring rain of last night. Just to be able to relax outside n the grass was so nice - again a major difference between Las Vegas and anywhere. Not long after the girls left, Drew and Mason arrived to spend the weekend with us. We had a fantastic meal at home with most of the ingredients coming from Nancy's veggie garden.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Mum & Craig's Visit

Wednesday was another day of playing tourist, but on Thursday I got to do something I'd never done before. Fly with Mum. We headed into Charlotte for a long weekend. 

The flight was pretty uneventful, but a little bumpy for the last 1/2 hour. Once in Charlotte we rented a Dodge Charger and drove out to Clover - where Mum got to meet Don & Nancy for the first time, we are here for the next 2 nights before heading into Charlotte.

We have a relaxing afternoon before heading to Concord Cove for dinner. A wonderful meal in a little family owned restaurant. Nothing like it in Vegas. It is some of the charm that I miss about the Carolinas.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Mum & Craig's Visit

Sunday was a day exploring the Strip and then I had to work on Monday. Because we didn't do enough driving Saturday, this morning Mum, Craig and I drove out to the Grand Canyon National Park. It's a good 4.5 hour drive, which was extended when the main road leading into the Canyon was closed because of an accident. We were diverted and extra 1.5 hours through Flagstaff. While the drive felt endless, I'm glad we got to go this way. The weather was literally freezing and we drove through and around snow covered mountains. I think all of us were in awe. 

And then you get to the Grand Canyon. It never ceases to amaze me how vast this place is. There is no photo that has ever done this place justice. It is just breathtaking. And Mum and Craig's jaws rarely left the ground. We spent a few hours here just walking on top of the rim, taking in the various vistas. I feel blessed to have had several opportunities to see this natural wonder. Again, I don't think I've been that cold in a long time, but I'm glad we got out there. 

We got back about 11pm and just crashed.


Craig & Mum @ The Grand Canyon (and yes, it was that cold)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Mum & Craig's Visit

Up relatively early this morning to head up to Utah and into Zion National Park. After a stop in Mesquite we were in the park and wandering around by the late morning. I gotta say - I love this place. It gets better every time I come here. This the first time I'd been here when it was cold and I could only think how beautiful it'd be covered in snow at winter. I'll be back. I think Mum & Craig thought it was great. Nothing like it back home. We did a few small hikes, including my favorite up to the river, though it was way to cold to wade up it. Another thing I like is the drive to and from, so many varied landscapes that are so picturesque. 

We got back into Vegas at 8pm and had a casual dinner at Paymon's.

 Mum, Amy & Craig @ River Walk @ Zion

 Mum & Craig @ Weeping Rock, Zion National Park

Craig, Mum & I @ Zion National Park

Friday, April 2, 2010

Mum & Craig's Visit

While I don't have any vacation time while mum and Craig are here, I am going to make the most of the relatively quiet time at work to take some leave so we can hang out. I had to work this morning but in the evening we met with Spooner and his visiting family for dinner at Firefly Downtown. We had eaten at the Paradise location, but this place might be better. Under the glass dome inside the Plaza. looking straight down Fremont Street was a treat. And a tapas restaurant for 9 of us was the right choice.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Mum & Craig's Visit

After 10 years of living outside Australia, mum, and her partner Craig, finally make the journey to visit Amy and I in our home. I am so proud of mum. Overcoming her fear of flying to make only her 3rd - 8th flights ever to come and see us. Unfortunately it seems she may have picked the windiest day to fly into Vegas. I greet them at baggage claim and hear stories of screaming, vomiting, turbulence that would shake the most seasoned of travelers. Ummm....Welcome to America. The afternoon and evening is spent relaxing, and recovering from jetlag and airsickness, in our apartment.