Vegas, Europe and Beyond: Part Une

I’m back and bettatheneva!

I’ve been back in Jackson for a couple of weeks now and while I’ve caught up on things like Kim and Kanye, I have severely neglected this little blog of mine. The horror!

Lately my thoughts have been devoted to a new change that’s taking place in a couple months but more on that later ;). Let’s get to the good stuff, no?

The adventure began in Salt Lake City, where Bryan took his CFA exam…gulp. I happily tagged along and spent my time studying the racks of stores which do not exist in Jackson, Wyoming. New trends instantly jumped out at me. You see, living in The Hole may mean awesome hiking, fishing, skiing etc. but it also means a drab wardrobe consisting solely of Patagonia and Chacos. While I try to keep up on my fashion blogs outlined here, a girl can get pretty confused with all the neon and chevron prints.

I instantly picked up on trends such as:

  • Skirts and dresses that are shorter in the front and longer in the back.
  • Shorts! They are everywhere. I thought these were only for high-school girls who shopped at American Eagle.
  • Colored jeans and shorts. Obv.
  • Polka dots. LOVE!
  • Peter pan collars. I find these to be feminine and chic.

After doing a small amount of damage at Nordstrom Rack and Forever 21, Bryan was done with his exam and it was time for Vegas. Sick.

Our previous visit to Vegas we stayed at the Mirage and this time, we opted to stay in the slightly less expensive Luxor Hotel. The location isn’t bad as you’re neighbors with New York, New York, Mandalay Bay, Excalibur and MGM Grand. However, the hotel itself was a little, shall I say, in need of repair. Upon arriving we could definitely see why this hotel was leaps and bounds less than The Bellagio. Hello shaky, slow elevator from Saw. Nice to meet ya.

Nonetheless, we were happy. Our flight/hotel package also included two tickets to see Cirque de Soliel’s Ka at the MGM Grand so that made this trip a heck of a deal.

Bryan immediately made me aware of the fact that I kept dozing off during sections of the show. I didn’t believe him until I woke up, violently snapped my head forward and looked around nervously to see if anyone noticed.

We frequented our usual haunts, such as the pool, the Forum Shops and the video blackjack bar inside the Venetian. Class.

CFA Celebration Dinner

Gnocchi

We also had the best breakfast of our lives at Max Brenner in the Forum Shops. Our meal came with a “diamond dusted buttermilk sugar biscuit”. Ummm hello! I died. Subsequently, I purchased the Hug Mug, their signature mug which we sipped our mochas from. How could I not with a name like that?!

You hug it!

The only drama we encountered on the trip was when we were playing video blackjack (yet again) at the MGM Grand. After I had gambled away my $5 bank roll, I turned my head and chatted with Bryan in the seat next to me for a few minutes. I had stupidly left my iPhone on the bar and while my head was turned, it was swiped. Some horrible robber now has my white iPhone 4 in mint condish. We looked everywhere, asked everyone at the bar and reported it to hotel security and turned up nothing. It was gone. After some tears and a new found hatred towards casinos, Bryan lovingly bought me a martini and some candy. That’s better :).

This was taken just before the robbery. So sayd.

Other than the iPhone snafu, the trip to Vegas was awesome as always.

Upon returning to Jackson, I was tasked with the lovely journey of driving (in my ’97 Corolla with no cruise control) to Kennewick, WA. A grand total of 11 wonderful hours. Armed with The Davinci Code on CD, 3 Redbulls, a box of Gushers and Pirate’s Booty, I was off! The drive went surprisingly quick due to nice weather, copious amounts of energy drink pulsing through my veins and of course the Priory of Zion.

I returned home in under 11 hours and was treated to a warm welcome from my favorite Danielson family member, Chloe McDoogal.

The next day we left for Seattle around noon (more driving) and arrived in Seattle with plenty of time to board our 6pm plane to Amsterdam. The flight was long but luckily was timed pretty well compared to where our bodies were adjusted to. My mom, sister and I all managed to get a good amount of sleep and were feeling good when we deplaned in Amsterdam. We shopped around the airport, took pictures of tulips and clogs (obv) and then boarded our plane to Barcelona.

Tulips!

The flight to Barcelona was quick and we were all very anxious to get there. My Dad greeted us at the airport and we all took a taxi to Barceloneta (the street we stayed on) to meet up with my aunt, uncle and cousin who were staying in the same apartments as us.

Our apartment was one the right

The apartment was pretty tiny but very nice and even had a kitchenette. We were all starving so we decided to find a little tapas bar to sit and share some food. We immediately located one and I felt bad as our table of 7 took up almost the entire place. Since my cousin Becca is studying abroad in Spain, she was able to help us order from the large variety of tapas on the menu.

Chicken Wings in Spain? Who knew!?

Blanco Vino…or something like that.

The next day we woke up and instantly hit the Picasso Museum. We had purchased the all-museum pass at the airport, which gains you access to about 7 different locations. The Picasso museum was no.1 on my list and I was so excited to see the exhibit.

Just me and the Pabs, Chillin

Picasso never ceases to amaze me. This particular museum held a wide array of Picasso’s work, ranging from the very traditional paintings he did early in life, to the grotesquely abstract later in life. We also witnessed all he did in between, like pieces from The Blue Period, sculpture, cartoon drawings as well as some rather graphic pencil drawings of women from going on holiday with a friend in Spain.

After that we walked the streets and took pictures of the crazy “living art” performers.

Benny Franklin

Scary Goblin Sultan Guy

Then we reached the Barcelona Cathedral, which was absolutely breathtaking. This particular cathedral had a beautiful courtyard area with amazing flowers, statues and fountains.

This was actually taken from another day, but you get it.

After that we took a taxi to the top of Montjuic, a mountain in Barcelona that houses hundreds of graves and has a fortress at the top. I desperately wanted to walk up to the top of the mountain but when you’re with people in their 60’s, you just oblige.

Megan and Becca Outside the Fortress

Gardens!

The next day started off with a bang, as we had coffees and headed to the Mercat de la Boquería.  It is basically a huge market where you can literally buy anything. Megan bought some exotic spices like saffron while I stuck to fresh fruit and of course…candy!

Mmmmm

1 Euro for a cup…steal!

Is There Anything More Beautiful?

Dyyyyying

Yep. Ham Hocks.

We continued to walk along the streets of Barcelona, stopping to take pictures, go in shops and stare at ridiculously good-looking people. Seriously, the men and women in Barcelona are all supermodels. I’ve never felt more like a white, gigantic girl with bunions and grow-out. Sigh…

My Mom, sister and I decided to visit Barcelona’s Museum of Modern Art. Before I continue I’d like to point out that I consider myself to be a lover of all kinds of art. Basically, I can appreciate any kind of art, be it music, painting, sculpture, poetry – anything, if it’s done with passion. I quickly discovered that while the pieces of art in the museum of modern art were done with passion, I certainly could not appreciate it.

Maybe it was the piece where a projector displayed images of overweight women trying to use a bidet, unsuccessfully from behind. Or maybe a large piece of stark white canvas, completely blank that was appropriately named “Elephant Wall”. While there were a few exhibits I found amusing, like the work of Gordon Matta-Clark who, according to Wikipedia  “is famous for his ‘building cuts,’ a series of works in abandoned buildings in which he variously removed sections of floors, ceilings, and walls” mostly it was just ODD.

Our next venture was to visit our first of the Gaudi sites, Casa Milà or La Pedrera. This was one of the apartment buildings that Gaudi designed and was finished in 1912. The tour included the underground catacombs, an apartment and of course the famous rooftop, which is known for it’s iconic ventilation towers.

Building Exterior

Rooftop

Ventilation Towers

Our last day in Barcelona we visited Gaudi’s most famous architectural masterpiece, which oddly enough still isn’t finished. Construction on Sagrada Família began in 1883 and was still being worked on the day we visited. This structure is simply to big for words. Actually it’s too ornate, over-the-top and strikingly beautiful for words. My suggestion is that you fly to Barcelona someday and set your sights on this cathedral.

The rest of the day was spent shopping. Barcelona has seriously amazing shopping. H&M and Zara were sprinkled over every corner and interesting boutiquey shops lined all the little side streets. Megan and I were most impressed by the large amount of shoe stores and how cheap the shoes were. I scored these little pups no problem.

The next day we packed up nice and early in order to catch a plane to Marseilles, France! However, now that carpal tunnel is setting in I must leave you. Check back for my re-cap of France and the big news!

5 thoughts on “Vegas, Europe and Beyond: Part Une

  1. Lacey says:

    Ok 1) you and Megan look gorgeous, as usual 2) I am excited for big news and 3) max brenner is Amazing! I went with D in New York and it was crazy good!

    Like

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