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Last October my mom and I visited Las Vegas to see Death Valley NP and Britney Spears.  This October we visited Las Vegas to see Zion NP and Reba McEntire/Brooks & Dunn.  We had a GREAT time!  Perfect weather, smooth travel, and lots of pretty sights to see.

  • We stayed at the Cosmopolitan, which is the same hotel we stayed at last time.  I love the Cosmopolitan and I’ll never want to stay anywhere else.  Why?  Because the rooms have private balconies and you can request a fountain view (translation: view of the Strip/Bellagio fountain show).
  • We picked up our rental car and headed straight to Seven Magic Mountains, which is a art installation 15 miles outside of Vegas.  I sent a photo to Pete and he said it looked like gay Stonehenge, which made me laugh.  In all seriousness, it’s a cool sight to see and I love it because… NEON colors!
  • Having time to kill before we could check into our hotel, we did what any mother-daughter team would do: visited the outlet mall!  The North Las Vegas outlets were just OK — J. Crew and Kate Spade were the highlights.
  • We checked into our hotel and relaxed for the rest of the night;  I went out and took a walk because I have a daily step quota to meet!
  • The next day we woke up early and headed to Donut Bar — so yummy!  We also drove around downtown Las Vegas (or DTLV, as the cool kids say) and got to see all of the awesome murals.  We had the neighborhood and murals all to ourselves because of the early hour.
  • After eating a few donuts, we hit the road to Zion NP, which is about 2.5 hours outside of Vegas. Much to our disappointment, it was RAINING at Zion. Cloudy skies and cold rain wasn’t what we had in mind, but the park was still stunning. We took some photos, spent a half hour trying to find a parking space at the Visitors’ Center, and then headed back to Las Vegas. A long day of driving but 100% worth it.  I’d love to return someday and spend more time at the park.
  • Our last full day was spent visiting more colorful murals, going to Target (yes, we stop at Target at all cities we visit!), and walking around the Strip.  There’s a weird phenomenon in Las Vegas where you look at something, say a hotel, and say, “oh, it’s right over there, we can walk.”  An hour later, you arrive.  Everything is further away and harder to get to than you think it will be!
  • We visited the Flamingo and enjoyed the open-air “mall” between the Flamingo and Linq. We stopped to see the floral display at the Bellagio’s Conservatory. And then we went back to our hotel for an early dinner before heading to Caesar’s for Reba McEntire and Brooks & Dunn.
  • The concert was great — I enjoyed Brooks & Dunn, though I will be honest, Reba McEntire isn’t my jam. She’s just too twangy — though I will admit, she’s got a great voice and a ton of talent.
  • We headed back to Wisconsin the next day!

Look. At. That. View!
Some interesting wallpaper in our hotel room closets!
Arguably one of the most famous hotels on the Strip.
Flamingoooooo!
The Chihuly in the lobby of the Bellagio. It’s HUGE – the photo doesn’t do it justice.
First in line for donuts!
The pink one was my favorite.
It definitely can be.
Rainy Zion.
See that little blue speck halfway up the photo on the left?  That’s a person.
I love neon signs.  We drove to a little town outside of Zion and oooo, I loved the Thunderbird sign!  Our hotel is home to the neon sign for Milk Bar.
The hallway leading to Secret Pizza, a secret (unadvertised, no-sign) restaurant in the Cosmopolitan.
Loved the Alice in Wonderland theme.
Sex drugs and sprinkles.
The Chandelier Bar — we had a few drinks here and it was great.
LOVE Eggslut! The line is always long but it’s worth it.
Chinese and Mexican food under one roof.
More murals!  If there’s a cool mural to be seen, I will track it down!
The mural that I’m standing in front of is in the parking lot of the Graceland Wedding Chapel.
I just liked this building.
Next time I visit, I want to go on the High Roller!  Each pod holds 40 people and it takes 30 minutes to go around the wheel.
When near the west coast…
Dreamy primary colors.
Showgirls gotta get their ice cream, too.
The Conservatory at the Bellagio.
They change the floral theme 5 times a year and have a staff of 100+ people in charge of all the flowers.
More of the Chandelier!
Lobby bodies.
Starbucks strawberry refreshers are my new favorite thing.
Yet another photo of this view.  I can’t help it.
My momma – best friend and favorite travel buddy.
Arriving at Caesars!
All I could think of was the Hangover.  “Is this the real Caesar’s Palace?”
Reba + Brooks & Dunn!
The show ended with streamers and confetti – I loved it.

September is a transition month. Not quite summer. Not quite fall. Kids are back to school. The days start to get shorter. The smell of the air signals the change of seasons. It’s all weird but good.

September 2nd was my dad’s 71st birthday.  We went up to Green Bay to the car museum and to dinner at the Cannery.
Pete and I also stopped for bloody marys at the Beachcomber. And a photo op at the world’s biggest nut!
Jack, Gracie, and Sadie.  Plus an uplifting note.
Shopping in Milwaukee with my momma & a trip to Gilles.
Sadie enjoys her walks!
Ratch & Deb’s – I’d go there every week if I could! LOVE.
First Packers game of the season, a new sign for my office, and some Sadie cuteness
Happy hour with Marianne; and more Sadie cuteness.
Docktoberfest with the fam!
I started decorating for Halloween in mid-September.  Don’t judge.
Opening night at the Howard!
United Way kickoff time; and fall is creeping in.
It’s also flu shot season! Get yours!
My happiest place.
Waking up early often has its perks.
Cupcake pancakes at IHOP – cause… TREAT YO SELF.
Pete was a sweetie and went to China Lights with me.  Not his thing, but we got him a few egg rolls and he was a happy panda.
(sometimes it’s fun to drag the big Nikon out!)
And we wrapped up the month by attending the Packers/Bills game. We won but it was damn chilly!
Onto October – my favorite month of the year!
October will bring trips to Las Vegas and Chicago, as well as Sadie’s big knee surgery (gahhh!).

Oh em gee, August was another jam-packed month.  BIRTHDAY month!  Here it all is!
The month kicked off with the County Fair!
Colorful & fun.
Had lunch with Jillian at a new taco place in Milwaukee.
The Oshkosh Chalk Walk
My new and colorful (shocking) glass window hanging thing.  And a bunch of dogs!
Went to see Michael McDonald at Waterfest (not my favorite musician but oh well).
New t-shirt from my friend Lynn — and some pretty flowers.
Some quality eats.
Cherry dippee is my fav cupcake at Tamara’s.
Sadie’s back-to-school photos :)
Pete and I went to Door County to celebrate my birthday. FUN!
We went to the Death’s Door Maritime Museum, which was pretty interesting.
MINI GOLF! I beat him by 6 strokes. :)
Cherry margarita and a nice sunset at Fred & Fuzzy’s.  And I’ve found my dream home — decked out in primary colors!
Breakfast at Chop — my favorite part was the cherry butter. CHERRY. BUTTER.
Then we hopped on the ferry and went to Washington Island.
Went to the “famous” bitters bar. Money on the ceiling. And bitters, for the record, tastes like swallowing Christmas. Yeeeeeach.
Schoolhouse Beach
The plastic straw ban hasn’t quite made it up to Door Co. Yet.
Whitefish Dunes State Park
Must. Always. Stop. At. Al. Johnson’s!
Anderson Dock.
MY BIRTHDAY!
Pete knows the way to my heart: BALLOONS!
A little visit to the farmers market.  I’m there by 8am and gone by 8:15am.  No joke.
I also had my first banana split ever last weekend. EVER! Delicious!
Breakfast at Delta.  A new friend named Oreo.  And a military vets potluck dinner.
Snuggles. And pssst… fall is coming!
Sadie went on her first real walk the other day.  I took Pete with me (in case one of my MANY neighborhood pitbulls attacked).  She walked a full 2 miles.  I was proud and impressed.
Here’s to the end of summer – it was a fun one.  I can’t wait for all things fall.

This is gonna be a big ol’ blog post! SO MUCH going on in July. The month passed by in the blink of an eye, but also… the 4th of July seems like it was 4 months ago, not 4 weeks ago. Onward!

Kicked off the month with a trip across the lake to the goat farm. I LOVED IT (despite how that one photo looks…). I now want a pet goat.
Sadie Sadie! My dad loves Sadie photos, so there will be plenty in this post.
The 4th of July.
The largest old fashioned – well done, Ground Round. And I looooove the Disney Starbucks mugs. I hope they continue to make them forever and ever. HERE, TAKE ALL MY MONEY.
Pete and I took a day trip to Madison. Every time I’m there my heart hurts (in a good way).
Cause those really were the good old days. I miss my classmates, immunology, microbiology, and nearly everything about Madison.
Isn’t the Microbial Sciences building pretty?
Upon our return to Oshkosh, we walked through Sawdust Days. Classy times.
Mothership and I visited the Green Bay Botanical Gardens’ LEGO displays. On what had to be the hottest afternoon of the summer. We still had fun!
We stopped at the mall on our way home and I discovered something truly life-changing: DOLE WHIP IS NOW SOLD OUTSIDE OF DISNEY! #BLESS
The next day we went to Madison for brunch at Mint Mark (which I loved) and a little shopping at Hilldale. Time together outside of work is pretty awesome and very necessary.
Then, of course, a migraine struck me down for almost 5 days. The joys of being a woman, I tell ya.
Waterfest fun with Denny.
I love deep-cleaning my house. Does that make me weird? It’s therapeutic.
Went down to Brookfield to visit Andrea and Ryan — and my favorite taco place, Bel Air.
EAA!! I love it so much.
Pete was very patient as I took 3,274 hot air balloon photos. The balloon glow is so awesome!
I had all three pups at my house for a day last week. It was intense. :) Also, please note how dainty Miss Sadie is sitting in the lower left photo.
My quest to try all pizza in Oshkosh continues. Red’s was just OK.
An afternoon at EAA with my momma.
My dad brought 40 yellow roses and a cookie cake to the office to celebrate my parents’ 40th anniversary. He’s so sweet.
One more day at EAA! This time for the Runway 5K!
It was so fun – and totally worth waking up at 4:45am for! The 6am balloon launch was awesome.

I love sunflowers. I also love that Pete is a good sport and was totally willing to drive me up to the sunflower festival in Cecil, WI.
We stopped at a random bar in Cecil for a beer. And isn’t that mural in Shawano cuuuuute?
Dinner in Birnamwood. Drinks in Waupaca.
Sunday the 29th was my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary.  We went up to Door County to celebrate.
Got a little day-drunk at Stabbur. And had a delicious dinner at Chop.
July, you were really fun. Up next: MY BIRTH MONTH!!!

June is always a favorite month – the weather is usually perfect and summer is just beginning. Here are the pics!
My mom and I started off the month by going to Chicago to see a Taylor Swift concert. The show as AWESOME (I think my mom enjoyed it more than she thought she would). The only downfall was that the weather was freeeeezing. Who woulda thought for June?!
Dive bar on the east side, where you at?
I always eat donuts on vacation.
Very healthy eating.
The South Loop has changed SO MUCH. My old apartment building now has a weird-but-cool mural on it!
We stayed at the Ritz Carlton, which was beautiful.
Our architecture tour via boat was great – even though our tour guide was a littttttttle wacky.
Miss you always, Chicago.
Back in Oshkosh – cozying up to Sadie and some pizza.
Sometimes you’re just too tired to stand and drink your water.
Fathers Day — a day to celebrate Denny! He’s been the BEST dad.
Lots of Sadie. Plus a trip to a local shop for ice cream — my mom HAD to try the licorice flavor. The black ice cream didn’t photograph well though.
Summertime; and get-well balloons for Russell, my favorite 90-something.
Hairball at Waterfest!!
I really fall off the healthy-eating wagon on the weekends, don’t I?
Farmers Market.
Annual baseball game with my momma. The Brewers lost though!
And we wrapped up the month by taking a sneak peek tour of our latest event space, the Howard. It is going to be AMAZING.