Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Sara Meets a Horse

This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make purchases after clicking on the links. Thanks for supporting GuG!

Going to the race track has always been a favorite activity of ours. We go to watch the horses and make a few bets several times a season. Some of the best days to go to Emerald Downs is on Triple Crown race days. Everyone dresses up in traditional race attire: spring dresses for the ladies, and pastel sport jackets for the men. And of course, the hats! The bigger, crazier, and more creative, the better! It's so much fun, and you can place bets on the actual big races, which are simulcast on screens all over the facility so you won't miss a moment of the action!
This year, we chose Kentucky Derby day to take Sara to her first race. I dressed her in a cute little dress with a matching headband, which she quickly pulled off from her head, and away we went!
Sara loves people watching, and she loves animals! She was definitely enjoying kicking back in her stroller and watching everyone around her. Many people even came up to her to say hello! The race track is a very family friendly event, and there were tons of kids around, and Sara enjoyed watching them laugh and play and run around. I can't wait until she's big enough to join them!
In the early afternoon, before the Derby, the first of the live races took place. We took Sara to where they lead the horses in from the stables, so that she could get a close up view of them. She didn't notice at first, but when they started leading them around the paddock, she saw them, and couldn't keep her eyes off them!
As they continued to lead the horses around the ring, and then onto the track, Sara couldn't get enough! She smiled as they walked by, just a few feet from her. When it was time for the race, we took her down to the rail alongside of the track so that she would have a good view when the horses crossed the finish line.
As the horses came thundering down the track, Sara turned towards them, probably wondering, "what was that?" She watched as they crossed the line, and then led them back to the stables.
After the first race, I left to get mint juleps for Mark and I, while he and Sara watched a few more races. At one point, a lady came up to Sara and asked her which horse she liked for the next race. Mark told her, "She likes number 6!" And the 6 horse actually won the next race!
When it came time for the Derby, we found a seat, and watched the broadcast from the main screen above the track. Unfortunately, none of the horses I bet on won. We stayed for one more live race, and then set off for home, because Sara was starting to get sleepy.
It was a fun day, and the first of what hopefully will be many fun trips to the races!

 Race Day Essentials:

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Pool Time A No Go

So, today was the first really warm day we had, so I decided to set up my inflatable pool in the front yard for a dip. I bought it last year, but because I was pregnant, I never got around to using it.  So this afternoon, after returning from the store with a brand new pair of swim diapers for Sara, I got it all ready.
First, the diaper, which is like a cloth diaper, but for water use, was almost too small for her. I'll have to go back later and get the next size up. Next, I went to put her swimsuit on, which is a 6-12 month size, and of course, it was too small. Luckily, I had bought a second suit, 12-18 month, and it fit her just right. Guess I'll be going back to Janie and Jack before vacation to get her a few more suits, because they have the most adorable baby swimwear!
I took all of Sara's favorite bath toys and put them in the pool, then I got in myself, and it was absolutely freezing! I didn't know how Sara would take it, but I dipped her feet in, and of course she screamed her head off.
I went inside and filled up several buckets of hot water to put in the pool. That made the temperature a lot more tolerable, so we tried again. Nope! I no more than dipped her toes in, and it was hysterics. I threw in the towel-not literally-after that. I changed Sara back into her outfit, and then I went to enjoy my pool myself for a bit before I had to empty it. Oh well...
I guess I'll be waiting for warmer temps before trying again. I'll also have to get a smaller kiddie pool, as mine proved to be just a bit too big, and a bit of a hassle. Hopefully though, Sara will come to love the water and swimming as much as her mom does!
I wish I would have taken a picture of Sara in her cute swimsuit, but I forgot to do so before I changed her. But here's my awesome pool1

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Throwback Travel: Las Vegas

I've been thinking about doing a new series for awhile now, reminiscing past trips that I've been on that were really enjoyable and impactful. For my first post in this series, I'll talk about my first visit to Vegas!
About a year and a half ago, I accompanied Mark to a conference in Las Vegas. I'd been bugging him for years to take me. He had been a few times, and it was on the top of my travel list. So he finally did, and I was ecstatic!
The conference was at the Venetian, and we stayed at the very luxurious adjacent hotel,  Palazzo.  Every room at the hotel is a suite, even the standard rooms. It had a huge marble bathroom with a soaking tub and a television set. The room had a sunken living room area with a sectional sofa and power controlled blinds with a view of the strip. I have to say, for a first time trip to the city, one can get spoiled with such an awesome room!
Very comfy!
Our view from the room 
I knew going into it that it was going to be a working trip for Mark, so during the day, I would have to entertain myself. This was no problem, as I often travel for my own job, and I was used to being on my own. I hit the casino, and won some (ok-quite a bit of cash,) enough to fund my drinks and entertainment for a few days.
I walked up and down the strip, taking in the sights, and enjoying the party. One of my top destinations was the Sugar Factory bar, where they sell these huge goblet drinks. (They can do non alcoholic versions too.) I got a frozen blue raspberry drink with rock candy and candy necklaces, and it was delicious! And lasted me a good part of the day. Later, I stopped by the Paris Hotel and bought one of their Eiffel Tower drinks, another bucket list item, that was so big and strong, that I couldn't even finish it!
The strip from just outside our hotel.
Bellagio Fountain
Yum x2!
I took in some other attractions, too, like the aquarium at Mandalay Bay, an ice cave bar at the Monte Carlo, the roller coaster at New York New York, and one of the best in my opinion, the Titanic Artifact exhibit at the Luxor. I spent over two hours there, and it was a very moving experience. I'd definitely recommend it, and do it again.
I also made sure to make time to enjoy the many pools at the Palazzo/Venetian, including their beach club, Tao Beach. This is a private club that you have to pay to get in to, and they have reserved seating, bottle service, and a DJ.  It was really fun, and great for people watching, but the pool was small, and by the afternoon, got really crowded.

So many pools!
At Tao Beach
No stay at a Vegas hotel would be complete without a visit to the spa. I love going to spas, and Canyon Ranch at the Venetian was one of the best I've been to so far. I got a 90 minute massage with a brown sugar scrub, and the package came with access to the entire facility. This included private sauna, hot tub, relaxation room, and pool access. A pretty good value for the price!
When Mark and I did have time together, we made the most of it. We took a gondola ride along the grand canal, played some games in the casino, perused the high end shops, and ate a meal at one of the many fine dining restaurants. We also took in a live show, Rock of Ages, which was amazing! I love the movie, and have always wanted to see it on stage! I loved the songs, and the energy of the show, and everyone in the audience was singing along by the end! Afterward, we went to the after party at the Bourbon Room bar for more music and complimentary shots.
The Grand Canal at the Venetian
Together on the Gondola
Getting ready for the private party!
Rewind as seen from the High Roller
Rewind Party
We also got to attend a private party together. One put on by the tech conference he was attending called Rewind. This was a huge outdoor party in the parking lot of the Linq. There were probably more than a thousand people attending, and it included a live concert, games, food, bars, and everything you could expect from a private party thrown in Vegas! Unfortunately, I wore heels, and was spending most of the night trying to stay off my sore feet as much as possible, but I had so much fun!
Our last night there, I drug Mark to my last Vegas bucket list item, experience a Vegas nightclub. We went to the one in our hotel, Tao. It was like no other party I've ever been to before! Great music, tons of people, and everyone dressed to the nines! They had cages suspended from the ceiling behind the bars, and a giant bathtubs that girls could dance in, although I didn't do this. I enjoyed the main floor in front of the DJ, which by the end of the night, was so crowded, you couldn't move. It was a blast, and I felt like I was in college again! I'm also grateful  Mark agreed to come, because he's not a club person, but I think he enjoyed watching the whole spectacle.
Party at Club Tao!
Overall, it was a great trip, and Vegas is so exciting! There's so much to see and do, that it can be overwhelming your very first time. I'm definitely thinking it's time for another trip, this time as a completely leisure get away for both of us! We'll have to see what we can get into!

How To Book a Disney Cruise

Well, we did it again! Cruise life has been calling, and we listened! We've just booked another cruise on Disney Cruise Line for Summer ...