Sunday, October 23, 2016


It's been a hard year for Matt and me. Between our respective injuries and his crazy travel schedule, we haven't been able to have much fun.
So, in September we decided to remedy that situation by taking a trip to California with a stop in Vegas on the way home.

For us, no trip to California would be complete without a trip to the "happiest place on earth." It was a perfect day! We went on the Wednesday after Labor Day so the crowd was small and we didn't have to wait in line for anything. We had a blast! What can I say, we're just a couple of big kids.

On another day, our friends Jeff & Kathy Ludlow treated us to a ride in their Cessna.  Matt loves to fly. You can tell by that big ol' smile on his face.  

I, however, was less enthusiastic. To say I'm a nervous flyer is a bit of an understatement.

But, once I white-knuckled it through the take off, the views made it all worthwhile.  

We flew along the coast from Camarillo to San Luis Obispo. We had an ocean view off one side and a  view of the mountains off the other.  

 From the air, the farm fields looked like a giant quilt.

We ate a delicious dinner at The Apple Farm, then headed back. The sun set while we were in the air.  There was something magical about flying over the city at night. I thought I would be really nervous about flying at night but it was actually very relaxing.

The true reason for our trip was to attend the USU/USC game. USU is his alma mater, so Matt is a faithful fan. I'm more of a fair weather fan and since California has some pretty fair weather, I was happy to tag along.

Sadly, the Trojans cleaned our clock. But,  being in the Coliseum was still an amazing experience.  Between their famous band performing and their mascot racing around the field on a huge, white Arabian horse, USC has cornered the market on spectacle.

Our last stop before heading to Las Vegas was a lunch with extended family. It was wonderful to hang with this girl again. When we were young, my cousin Debbie and I had some pretty fun, crazy adventures. And based on all the giggling we did that afternoon, I'm pretty sure that if we lived closer to each other, we'd still be getting into a fair amount of trouble.

This cutie-pie is my namesake. My 2nd cousin, Brian, named his daughter after me. We had never had the chance to meet each other before and neither one of us had ever met anyone with our name.  It was fun to finally remedy both of those situations.
We had quite a time talking about the difficulties of having the name Tacey; like always being called Stacy, Tracey or even Lacey. Not to mention the horrors of the first day of school when we both have had to squirm through the teacher butchering our name, much to the amusement of the rest of the class.

We left the party late that afternoon and drove straight through to Vegas. Even though we got there late, we took a quick walk on the strip just to look around.
The strip at night is a pretty wild place. The fountain at the Bellagio was the tamest thing I could take a photo of.

We've never really stopped in Vegas before.  Oh sure, we've driven by dozens of times, but never actually stayed there.  However, on this vacation we wanted to do some really touristy stuff. Taking in a couple of shows fit that bill.  Here we are waiting to see the Blue Man Group.  It is an amazing show...indescribable and amazing.
We had to sit through four agonizing hours of a time share sales pitch to get the free tickets, but the show was so good it was worth it.

The second day we were in the city, we were kind of at a loss for what to do.  I mean, even during the day there isn't that much "G" rated stuff to do.  We decided to check out this store for souvenirs for the kiddos.
First of all, let me warn you that they pump the scent of chocolate through the entire 4 story building.  It made me want to buy (and eat) everything in sight.  Which is, I'm pretty sure, why they do it.
The coolest thing they have is a huge machine that let's you personalize and print your own M&M's.  You choose the colors you want, input what you want them to say, push a big button and voila!, the coolest M&Ms ever!
We bought a bag for each grandchild along with a personalized mug for each.  Here they are enjoying some hot chocolate in them.

Speaking of grandkids, they LOVE getting snail mail.  We made sure to send them one or two postcards from every place we stopped.  It's a fun tradition we've started.  I hope it let's them know that we love and think of them no matter where we are.

For me, the pinnacle of our time in Vegas was this.  Yes, I admit it.  I was a huge Donny fan when I was young.  In fact, I had our wedding all planned.  Too bad, he didn't get that memo.
The show was great.  I highly recommend it.  I actually had no idea how talented they both are, especially Marie!  She sang everything from Aerosmith to opera and did it all fantastically.

We had a great time.

Of course, I have to gather fabric no matter where I go.  Here is what I gathered throughout the trip.  It's for a baby quilt I have been commissioned to make.  The pattern is in the background.
The mommy-to-be wants elephants for her theme so I found a pattern online that fits perfectly. I'm excited to get started.

And just for the heck of it, here is my latest finish.  It comes on a fabric panel complete with everything you see here.  I saw it and just had to make it for Maddie.  I mean, check out the mermaid tail...and the mini quilt!!  How could I possibly pass it up? 
I gave it to her last week for her 3rd birthday.  

Vacation's are great but it's always good to be home.  Summer is officially over now.  The weather turning cool, the leaves are turning and we've definitely had frost on the pumpkin.  I love this time of year.