Viva Las Vegas : Happily Ever After

Have you ever been to Fashion Show Mall in Vegas? 

It's pretty epic. 

A fashion show stage and catwalk literally rise from the ground floor and models strut their stuff. As soon as the show is over, the models step back into their window-shop positions as the stage and catwalk lower back down into the basement of the mall like an elevator. 

Sheer genius.


We celebrated Jackie's birthday at Maggiano's, family style Italian. 

Mmm.


The guys fought against Optimus Prime. 


And we took a lovely family photo in front of a fountain.


Here's a few last Vegas shots for your viewing pleasure...






Thanks Chase and Jackie for letting us stay with you guys. We're super proud of the things y'all are doing in Vegas. God is doing amazing work in and through the two of you. Can't wait to see what else He will do! 


Mom and Dad  - Few kids can say that their parents have been married for 30 years... much less happily married for 30 years. Chase and I have been infinitely blessed by you two. Your kisses in the kitchen and hands intertwined when you walk have not gone unnoticed. In fact, it is the imagery of your entire marriage. Thanks for loving each other wholeheartedly. You have not only stuck with each other through the worst of sickness - but you have fought for each other within in. Thanks for rubbing mom's feet when her neuropathy kicks in full-blast and for driving dad at nighttime because glaucoma has glazed his eyes. Your support of one another is impenetrable. Thanks for remaining faithful in prayer and in the Lord when doctors said mom would only have one more year to live in her darkest time of sickness, and when doctors said dad wouldn't be able to see his daughter's birth because he would be blind by that point. 

Most people must live by faith and not by sight.

But I have seen. 

I have seen that God heals and that He does a mighty work in marriages, in families and in our bodies. Thank you for leaning on Christ and each other in times of trials rather than straying apart from one another. Thank you for setting such a pure example of marriage for Chase and Jackie, and JD and myself. 

We love you.

Here's to 50 more years of being newlyweds. ;)

Viva Las Vegas : Fremont Street


Welcome to downtown Vegas, aka Fremont Street

By 2013, Zappos plans to relocate into the old downtown courthouse. According to Haute Living, "Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, and other investors are pledging approximately $350 million over the next few years to revitalize downtown Last Vegas. The plan is to have a city where you can live, work and play all within walking distance. The money will be used for city improvements such as local education, condos and tech start-up companies." 

How cool is that going to be?!

There is a TON of touristy things and places to go here, but Chase wanted to take us to his favorite hangout: the Tech Library.

Being a fellow techie, JD loved this.


Then we went back to Fremont where we spent a little more than "just a few minutes" waiting on the perfect moment to take a photo of the neon signs covering the sidewalks.


Perfect.


We meandered through the Toy Shack, mainly for JD to get this photo with the Ghostbusters' Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. 

Side Note: When researching the vicious giant marshmallow, I came across this article about why the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man is the greatest villain ever. It's worth a quick read. ;)


Did you know you can zip-line through downtown Las Vegas?

Because you can.

The ride lasts about 800 feet. and it's pretty inexpensive too! The line was nasty-long when we were there so we decided against it. However, it looked ridiculously awesome and we would love to hear from someone who has done it before!


We were super thankful for fantastic tour guides and a great host and hostess. 

Chase and Jackie: You two are awesome. Thanks for everything. We love you guys.

Viva Las Vegas : Hotels and Casinos

We'd be lying if we said we didn't dip our toes into the "Vegas Culture" just a bit. 

In fact, we may have slipped a few dollar bills into the casino slots. I was really hoping the bells would start dinging and pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters would start shuffling out of the change slots. 

But they didn't. 

Instead, the machines gave us a "Gaming Voucher" in the dollar amount of what we won. The voucher is a tricky thing. It makes you think you won more than what you put in... and then you want to slip it back in to win some more money on the voucher. JD and I won more money than what we gambled - an entire $13.52 - thanks to JD pushing the button and me sitting in front of the machine wishing and hoping. Wahoo!!


But there's more to the Las Vegas hotels than not-so-hidden casinos... Take a look into the interiors of these Las Vegas hotels lining the Strip.

First Stop: Caesar's Palace.



I wanted to twirl a thousand times under the trees lining the interior of the Wynn. Luscious fresh flower balls adorned the branches twisted with Christmas lights. 

But I forgot to twirl because I was too busy taking photos. Don't you hate when that happens?


Nest stop: Palazzo.


Want to cruise through the Venetian while being serenaded in Italian on a gondola? 

You can. 


Don't miss the free hotel attractions every night, like the Fountain Show at the Bellagio. Vegas visitors gather around the pond's gates as the anxiously wait for the water to start dancing.

And, I'm telling you... it dances

Like magic. 

Blissful Beauty.


After the sun sets, head over to the Mirage for the Volcano Show. Fire and water merge into an array of dynamic bursts as they follow into choreographed routines. 






Viva Las Vegas : Red Rock Canyon


Not what you would be expecting from Las Vegas, huh?

Located about 15 miles outside of Vegas, Red Rock Canyon will overwhelm your senses. It is a glorious creation of fossilized sand dunes mixed with amber and crimson cliffs, thanks to the iron oxide built up throughout many centuries.


Isn't my mom lovely?


And this guy? He's such a stud. ;)


The stark contrast between the deeply colored rocks and the barren valley truly mesmerizes onlookers.


Chase & Jackie


Dad, Chase & me


JD & me


Happy 30th Anniversary, mom and dad!






Viva Las Vegas : In-N-Out Burger vs. Five Guys


If you live on the West Coast, surely you've been to In-N-Out Burger, right?

Chase brags about how phenomenal it is every time he would come back from visiting Jackie's family in California. 

JD and I were pumped to try it out first hand. Thus, we decided to make it a priority in our Vegas Venture. 

The entire family kicked it animal style... or Wild Animal Style, as I like to say... from their Not-so-Secret Menu



The Verdict?

In-N-Out was delicious. We were digging the scripture on the wrappers and the 50's style vibe.

BUT, we decided that we still choose Five Guys and Fries as the Nation's Chain Burger Champ. The fries are perfect and the burgers. Yeah. Period. That's the best way to describe them. The burgers cannot even be adjective-ized. 

We've made our choice, but what is yours?
Which burger chain is your fave?






Viva Las Vegas : Celebrating New Seasons in Life


In late April of this year, we flew to Las Vegas to celebrate Chase and Jackie's new home, Jackie's birthday AND my parents' 30th Anniversary!! Whoop whoop! 

We're dedicating the next three weeks' blog posts to them. :)


Mom and dad LOVE watching Pawn Stars. Even though we did get to walk through the actual Gold & Silver Pawn Store, we didn't get to meet mom's favorite character, Chumlee.

She got over it pretty quickly when Chase and Jackie took us to play glow-in-the-dark KISS mini-golf. 

Why? 

Because she got to "meet and greet" KISS superstars, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. 




The 18th hole! 

KISS Mini Golf is awesome. We won a couple of extra tickets from trivia questions along with a free game of mini golf for the winner of each game.

Apparently, you can get married here too, but we would not recommend that. ;)



**If you're a new reader, here's a brief overview of our fam...
Reid and Mama E (Yvette): Whit's parents
Chase: Whit's older brother, works as a Front-end Web Developer for Zappos.com
Jackie: Chase's wife

Mr. Jim and Mrs. Josie: JD's parents
Theresa: JD's younger sister
Brandon: Theresa's husband and JD's former college roommate
Brandon and Theresa are house parents for the Baptist Children's Village