L to R: Me and Linz
She actually turned 30 about three weeks ago, but her birthday celebration was this weekend in Vegas. Lindsay is one of my favorite people in the world. I met her my freshman year at San Diego State in the dorms. It turns out we grew up in neighboring home towns. We quickly became friends and stayed friends ever since.
In college we took many memorable road trips to Vegas, and some of my favorite memories in that city have Lindsay in them.
Lindsay is the kind of friend you can always count on. She is supportive, caring, generous and fun. I was lucky to have her as a bridesmaid in my wedding and even though she lives in LA now, she came down to almost every single one of my fund raising events when I was walking the Breast Cancer 3 Day.
When she invited me to her birthday weekend in Las Vegas, it was a no-brainer! I got to Vegas on Saturday morning around 11 a.m. and left Sunday at 3:30. It was a short trip, but it was big on fun! We spent much of the day at the pool and then rallied at night to go to Studio 54 at the MGM Grand, where we used to go in every time we went to Vegas in college (Linz has VIP hook-ups there).
As long as I have a say, Lindsay will always be my friend. It was so great to see her and have fun in one of our favorite cities in America – VEGAS!
This was a cool picture I took from the foot bridge that connects the MGM Grand and the New York New York hotels. I’ll write more about the little adventure later.
I’m so behind on blogging … mainly because I went out of town to spend Easter in Arkansas and have been scrambling to catch up ever since.
Mom and Uncle Mike
L to R: Mike, Scott and Charlie Fishing
My mom and step-dad Charlie live in Arkansas, and my great uncle Jim and great aunt Mona live about an hour north of them in Missouri. Scott, my uncle Mike and Aunt Brandi, and I spent about five days visiting with them and their friends. It was a truly great time.
What did we do? Well, the question is – what didn’t we do?
Scott Relaxing on the Dock
- watched a University of Arkansas baseball game
- ate some more
- laughed some more
L to R: Me, Aunt Mona, Mom, Aunt Brandi Tailgating
Californian’s sneer when they hear about visiting Arkansas, but it is truly a beautiful state full of friendly people, nature and good food.
We got back yesterday from Catalina where we went to run the Buffalo Run 5K. We were on the island for just shy of 24 hours, but managed to accomplish quite a bit.
Colleen finishing her 1st 5K. Congrats!
If you’re looking for a quick get away, sign up for the 2011 Buffalo Run. You have the option of a pretty easy 5K – half uphill, half downhill – or a notoriously challenging half marathon. The 5K is a small run which enabled three in our group to earn first place finishes in our respective categories. I’m a really slow runner; there is no way I’d even place in a bigger race on the mainland. If you don’t believe me, check the results here.
Matt, Scott and me (R to L) - 1st place
If running is not your thing, here are a few highlights that’s I’d recommend:
- EL GALLEON RESTAURANT & KARAOKE LOUNGE – This place is decorated in a cross between mardi gras and a seafood shack. The menu is diverse boasting lobster to Asian potstickers. At any minute high school students could break out in a choppy rendition of Baby Got Back on the front-of-house karaoke lounge … there are no set karaoke hours; it goes all day. The prices are mid-grade and the food is good. It is a charming and eclectic place that you could only find on an island or small beach town.
- STEVE’S STEAKHOUSE – If you’re looking for something a little more upscale that won’t break the bank, Steve’s Steakhouse gives you the feeling of fine dining in a casual island setting. The restaurant is on the main drag on the second floor and affords diners a beautiful view of the bay. The prices are what you’d expect for a steakhouse. I walked in wearing jeans and Ugg boots and no one batted an eye.
- ERIC’S ON THE PIER – If you want good greasy food, Eric’s on the Pier is the place to go. It is a walk-up grill that features buffalo burgers, Mexican food and funnel cakes … and everything else in between. The cook was extremely friendly and made us feel that he’d make anything – on or off the menu – to please his customers. You can sit outside on the barstools and watch the tide lap up on the beach while sipping a cold one.
Scott and me in the cave getting our wicky whacked.
- LUAU LARRY’S – If you like to get your wicky wacked, head into Luau Larry’s for the signature Wicky Wacker drink. It comes with a bumper sticker and a cool island hat … and typically a good buzz. Per recommendation of my aunt and uncle, we sat in the cave for our wacking. It really is a booth covered and painted like a giant cave. No further explanation needed.
- LLOYD’S OF AVALON – We were drawn into this charming candy factory in search of ice cream. On the way in, we passed giant candy apples, decadent chocolates and a wall of sweets. The ice cream was some of the best I’ve had. I got one scoop of butter pecan and can still taste its deliciousness in my mouth a day later.
- CATALINA CANTINA – Another recommendation of my aunt and uncle. They said we must hit the cantina for a blue shark or rum punch. Little did we know, these drinks come in bowls … larger than the bowls in which they serve soup. We only stayed for one but could see how it could be trouble.
Rum Punch at Catalina Cantina
From the recap, it is pretty clear we should have run the half marathon rather than the 5K to combat our calorie consumption. It rained all weekend, so we just ate, ran and drank, which was fine by us. Next time we will hope for sun and more activity. Catalina is a great little weekend getaway. Hop on that Catalina Express and give it a shot.