Friday, June 17, 2011

To Utah Onward Ho!

It's not very often one gets the chance to write "ho" in a post title. I had to jump on this opportunity.

After we left Vegas but before we went to Leatherby's, we drove further north to Annabella, Utah to spend the night with my sister, Charloe, and her family. They have a beautiful home on a hill, located in a quaint little farming suburb of Richfield. Just down the street from their house were two new baby horses, so we went to admire them that evening. We also hopped in the truck to assess the damage of the Sevier River flooding, which is taking over parts of the valley with overflowing water. Thank goodness for sandbags! They certainly had a good winter and have lots of water melting off the mountain. Annabella is pretty, peaceful, and so quiet. We stayed up until almost 2:00 AM talking with Charloe and her drug-dealing pharmacist husband, Brian. What fun people!

The next morning, Monday, we packed up the car with Charloe's oldest kid in the backseat for our continued drive to Nephi. We've known Corban is brilliant since he was obsessed with planets at the ripe old age of three years. He could easily tell you every fact known about each and every planet, its moons, and characteristics. Now that he's six, his latest fascination is with Presidents of the United States. Because he's brilliant, George Washington is his favorite president, too! It was fun to hear his sweet little voice from the backseat quizzing us on presidential facts. Did you know there was a president named Andrew Johnson?! Me, neither.

Tuesday morning meant we started our manual labor for the week. Our entire purpose for this trip was to help my parents get some projects finished on their house. Just a few weeks before we arrived, the decision was made to wait on some major renovations, like flooring and paint, for a few months. So we did what we could to make some small changes around the house. I finally swayed Mom to the evil world of spray paint, and she let T'liese and I update all of the brass fixtures in the house. Some were changed to Satin Nickel while others became a beautiful Oil-Rubbed Bronze. It's hard to pick a favorite because they both look so good (especially next to each other) in the house. Of course, I don't have any "After" shots to prove that statement, but it's common knowledge that getting rid of brass will improve any situation! We even changed some brass and wooden picture frames, too, and printed off some new leaf artwork for her living room. Then we rearranged the furniture and voila! A new room for the price of a few cans of spray paint.

The small local hardware store only carried Krylon spray paint in multiple colors, so that's what we bought. I wasn't impressed and will definitely stick with Rustoleum's Painter's Touch for all of my projects. Sometimes one must work with what small local hardware stores provide! We used Rustoleum's Hammered Black to create the Oil-Rubbed Bronze look, and it turned out amazingly! If I do say so myself...

It was fun to work together as a team to knock out so many small projects. And it's always fun to have someone else jump onto my spray paint bandwagon! Satisfaction is instant with a can in my hands! The entire house looks different with just a few small changes, and I am tickled with the (not pictured) results.

We conveniently timed our visit to Utah during my brother's Little League Baseball Tournament, so we spent several of our evenings at the ballpark watching him play. Though his team lost their last game, Kippy had the game of his life with several in-field plays, killer hits, and fly balls caught. He was a machine! It must run in the family! We all enjoyed cheering him on and watching his game skills in play. Despite being left-handed, he just found out this week that he was named to the All-Star team. Whoop whoop!

More adventures from Nephi coming up soon!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Swimming in Caramel Never Tasted So Good

Many a memory came flooding back last week when I was able to eat at one of my favorite childhood eateries. Every time my dad was in town, we went bowling and played miniature golf at the 49th Street Galleria, which no longer exists, and then went to Leatherby's Family Creamery for a healthy dairy dinner. Maybe it was a good thing that dad only came to town twice a year?

This past Monday, Hubby and I arrived at my parents house around noon. My Mom was just headed out the door to pick up T'liese and Evan from the airport in Salt Lake City, which takes just over an hour to drive. She asked if I would come with her, and I readily agreed.

Does it matter that my main motivation for joining her was that they were heading to Leatherby's for lunch? No ones needs to know that truth, right?

We got to the airport just in time. After just ten short minutes of waiting in the cell phone waiting parking, we pulled ahead and loaded a pretty lady and a cute boy into the car. Then I sped as fast as the little Chevy Cavalier would allow to get us to Midvale for some lunch. I've never had a problem with setting the proper priorities.

Mom and I split our favorite sandwich, the Chicken Cashew on grilled sourdough. It's Oh-So-Good and extremely healthy because it contains celery. Their french fries are always perfectly salty and tend to disappear too quickly. Did I mention they come with Fry Sauce?! This wonderful concoction doesn't exist in Arizona. I almost moved when I found out. T'liese split a soup bowl with Evan, who mostly focused on some bananas and avocado provided by our server.

And then the real fun began when dessert arrived.

If you think it looks aren't far off. Leatherby's makes the best caramel sauce, hands-down. I always ask them to go a little crazy with my sundae when they are drizzling on the topping. I have yet to be disappointed! I decided to get vanilla ice cream so as not to interfere with the caramel, but I think I'll follow my sister's example next time and get their delicious toasted almond.

Did I mention they make all of their own ice creams fresh on-site every day? Can you hear that host of angels singing?!

Mom got her favorite, the Alan's Black and Tan (this was called Bart's Black and Tan when I was a kid...I think a divorce took place in the Leatherby's family!). The only downside to this dessert is that you have to dig for the hot fudge and caramel swimming at the bottom of the dish. She was a trooper, though, and displayed incredible stamina while enjoying two different types of ice cream, homemade whipped cream, and a cherry on top.

Just kidding. I ate her cherry. And T'liese's. Who knew that I was the only one at the table who loves maraschino cherries?! My lucky day!

It was such a treat to dine at a fun place that holds so many memories for me. Thankfully, I'm not willing to drive eleven hours any time I get a caramel craving. My Mom helped that out by buying me a jar to bring home (it's half-gone now, Mama, and rather delicious). I try to avoid bringing such gym-defying ingredients into my home, but I couldn't resist for such a special occasion.

What food location brings back memories for you?

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Sinful City Visit

Everyone knows that I'm married to one smart guy. And not just book-smart...Hubby has readily displayed his Street Smarts on multiple occasions. Just this past week, for example, he suggested that I not broadcast to the world that we were going to be out of town for a week. Something about home invasion avoidance or theater-protection, I think. I followed his bidding and had a nice week off while leaving my laptop at home. I took tons of pictures to make up for the missing comfort that a keyboard can provide. And now...since I'm finally home and can ward off home intruders with my trusty ol' baseball bat, I am free at last to let you know that we were out of town last week!

We went to Vegas.

Technically, we went to Utah. But Hubby discovered that it was only thirty additional minutes of driving through Las Vegas instead of through Page, Arizona to get to my hometown in central Utah. He was being kind and thoughtful...knowing that I'm not much of a road-tripper and am constantly calculating how long a certain stretch of never-ending road takes to fly in my jet instead. So he recommended that we make an overnight pit stop in the City of Sin. I'm so glad he suggested it! Four and a half hours in the car is waaaaaaaay better than nine.

Hubby will deny it, but his main intention for stopping over in Las Vegas was to experience his most favoritist thing in the world...a buffet meal.

We arrived in town around 1:00 PM after an uneventful drive from Mesa. We found Ballys' well-hidden parking garage and parked for the night. After walking sixty-three miles through Paris and then through Ballys, we arrived at the front desk to check in for our room. I declare...being nice gets me everything nice. I sweet-talked the attendant into giving us an upgrade, and before we knew it, we were looking at our breath-taking view from a suite on the 19th floor! It was a gorgeous room. But we had plans to explore the Strip, so off we went!

Stop number one was the most important, since it provided Hubby the opportunity to live his dream at a Vegas buffet. He was in hog heaven and almost cried a time or two through the line. Since it was late afternoon, we didn't have to fight crowds to get him plate after plate of delicious food. He very much enjoyed the meal. Mine was good, too, but I always feel badly that I don't eat my money's worth. Quite possibly, Hubby made up for my poor performance.

After making a full round-trip on foot from Ballys to Wynn, then crossing the street and walking all the way back to Luxor, we made our way back to Harrah's for our evening show. I had worn shoes not well-suited for lots of walking, and it felt really nice to finally sit down. John had scored a coupon for a buy-one-get-one ticket to Defending the Caveman, which was completely entertaining and very informative about how men and women operate differently in relationships. I actually learned a lot, and laughed, too. It was perfect! And Hubby was excited to get a free t-shirt.

We had unknowingly timed our visit during the National Tattoo and Piercing Convention and certainly saw some interesting things as we walked back to the hotel. Though I wanted to see the Bellagio fountains at night, my feet dictated that it was time to quit for the day. We admired the incredible night-time view from our room before crashing.

I've been to Vegas several times for work and have occasionally had a chance to visit the Strip. I must admit it is way more fun to see the sites with someone holding my hand.

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