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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bachelorette trip to Las Vegas, Part I

Well the weekend before Labor Day was great as it was the weekend of my Bachelorette Party trip to Las Vegas. Thursday AM I took off from work and I ended up upgrading to Main Cabin Select on Virgin America as the plane was busy but not packed. I did not have anyone next to me which was wonderful! It was so nice to watch live TV, a couple movies, and have a breakfast with my legs stretched out. Yes, I am 5'9" and was wearing heels but was able to sit on the plane with my knees just barely bent. I enjoyed it on the way to LAX so much that I did it on my return to IAD. Definitely worth the extra $100+ for the upgrade at the airport. Also, neither seat either way was an aisle seat, so I really did luck out with window seats to and from!

Here is what the area for Main Cabin Select looks like, you look through into First Class, which is fine as I was able to use "their" bathroom which is much closer than the one at the back of the plane, which Coach/Main Cabin fliers use exclusively:

[property Virgin America]

All of the seats on Virgin are leather. Yes, leather! So comfortable, I probably would have fallen asleep if I had worn sweats or leggings... which I did not do as I 'dress well' on my flights! I honestly do not like First Class on these domestic flights as you are in such a small section and too far up in the plane to my liking. Main Cabin Select puts you back a little bit closer to the wing so you don't feel as many shifts on the plane... So I had a Jack and Coke (yes, it was 9am but it was good for my nerves as I rarely cross the country solo)... okay okay it was two of them, a cheese plate, several movies and shows for free in this upgraded class. I was definitely a happy camper... I am sure the booze helped.

[from Google Images]

Landed in LAX with no issue but found out MOH had to assist her boss with a conference call in the PM (hello, of course she was working that day). I think in the future I will just fly straight into Vegas so I don't lose a day (half day on Thurs and half day on Sun) of travel, but she and I had fun and made the most of it. Seeing as we got stuck in traffic she got to show me a LOT of LA as well as driving me to my first In-N-Out (in the last 'town' (Barstow) before we drove through the Mojave). She lives by Melrose so I got to have fun seeing what that includes and I was on a mission for fish tacos. So I had fish tacos and they were awesome. Eventually, MOH was able to come home to her adorable apartment and she drove. It was about two hours longer than it should have been (horrid accident on the 10), but heyyyy I got to SEE more of the West Coast. So that was nice. Especially Vegas at night when you cross into the state (yes, the lights - particularly the Luxor beam (42.3 billion candlepower) - are apparent as you cross the border). I never thought about that before it actually happened and it was certainly fun and a different way to see things... building up before you get there in contrast to the airport which has you land in the thick of it.

[from http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpstanley/]

Eventually MOH and I arrived at the Bellagio where I tried to not gape at some of the most offensively-dressed people I had ever seen - I had to go through the culture shock and it wore off quickly once I put myself back into an urban frame of mind. Later on the group gathered and we decided to eat dinner. I think it was 3am EST when MOH took this shot of Izzy and I, and I had not slept in over 36 hours was our estimation... (I can never sleep before a trip!):

[© ALMEC]
We ate at the Café Bellagio since it was so late at night. It is nice looking for a 24 hour restaurant but the service was spotty at best. We definitely felt neglected which was dumb as it was 'only' midnight and the place was steady (not overwhelmingly busy by any means). We did not order anything complicated but it was hard to not be frustrated when we wanted to leave the table and no one was collecting our check! I think when I go back to Bellagio I will try to eat on a more normal schedule and go with better dining options, more expensive but worth it. I like to eat at special places when I travel but we all wanted a little nosh before heading up to sleep. Regardless of the problems there, it was comfy decor and I started to doze during dinner! Whoops... that was when the girls knew I needed to head back to the room.

The below photos are all from © ALMEC's Instagram... We loved wandering in the Bellagio Conservatory. The Conservatory changes seasonally and we apparently were lucky enough to be there for the last two weeks of the summer decor. I got an email from them not long after we had returned that they were installing the new autumn display. At night it is lit up and quiet which was very nice and in stark contrast to the packed atmosphere during the day...




The way they used mums to construct the bees was probably my favorite feature! The scent floated into the Café and it was wonderful. It did take all of my willpower to not wander through the flowers (pass out in the flowerbeds) and/or ride the carousel. So, not long after this meal we went back to our massive room to sleep. I'll write more soon!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Wedding Wednesday: a Day Late!

Happy Thursday to all, it has been a while since I last posted but so much wedding-related stuff has been going on, it has been incredibly hard to not be overwhelmed. I was doing really well out the gate, but now so many things snowball when you are working and planning at the same time! Decisions, decisions...
Firstly, it is hard to not feel anxious when I have always been a very reliable commenter, and now I warily eyeball a 1000+ Google Reader status. I think the lowest it has been in a month is at 700+ but we shall see what I can accomplish in the next few days. I just hate not giving back to all of you who I read, Instagram, Tweet with when you know I am pretty devoted to doing so. My normal 2 hours a day to do my blog comments are now taken up with caterer calls, emails with Mom, or returning calls or questions from other vendors related to the wedding.

We have gotten in many of our wedding invitation responses, but even though they were due on Monday we still have about 52 we need to hear from - really 30 as about 20 were people who had address changes they never told me about or other random items like that. Those are fine. But I did not anticipate so many people just not responding. I feel like it is rude and inconveniences everyone involved. Not even an email or phone call update on their plans. I would be embarassed to be that person, but maybe I am the only one?
We ordered beautiful and autumnal Bridesmaid Luncheon invitations from FineStationary and they came in perfectly, except we were disappointed that their "standard" return address font on the back flap was hysterically small, like a 1" flap and the font was a standard script in maybe 10 point? Could not figure that one out! Also, the name is hysterically tacky-sounding, "Roadside Bouquet," and in Virginia we have people who grow fields of wildflowers... not just on a roadside!

We also ordered our Rehearsal Dinner invitations... and Wedding Paper Divas sent me to hell and back with that one. I have used their website many, many times and this problem wasn't small at all. The order was delayed and then they sent us the correct custom return envelopes with someone else's invitations in the box - our order confirmation sheet and packing slip info was correct - so why didn't that person check the names on the invite?! Timing is everything and while they gave me a small refund they were not as accomodating or prompt in correcting their error as I would expect. So I do not think I could use them ever again. Disappointing as I love their stuff, but a lot of things wrong in their operations and how they handle quality control.

Got my wedding hair trial done - so excited and happy with how it turned out! Hard to photograph but I think you get the idea. It looks perfect with the veil.

We picked up our wedding bands last weekend and are thrilled. I plan on wearing my band on my left hand and my engagement ring on my right hand due to the larger stone on my engagement ring. I love how elegant but special the custom band is... I did have a hard time taking that pretty thing off. It is a 5 stone band - which is what my Grandmama has - but mine is two diamonds and three sapphires. M wanted to integrate the stone again in the band and I think it looks fab. He has a simple comfort fit band with milgrain edge. Robert Jones at Hamric & Sheridan does wonderful work if you need someone for jewelry in the Shenandoah Valley.

I had a fun Bachelorette trip to Vegas - I may leave that for another blog post...

How are you all? Anything I need to catch up on or may have missed? XO

Friday, September 7, 2012

Newest Downton Abbey trailer

Have you all seen this most recent Downton Abbey trailer? It just was released on Wednesday! I am so excited (can I really wait until January? Ugh.)

Downton Abbey Official Series 3 Trailer: The Roaring Twenties



Could Matthew be any more gorgeous? Sigh...

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Dog days of summer 2012 lust list

One of my favorite things to do during the last remaining weeks of summer is to peruse the designer duds I had lusted all season in the hopes of picking up one or two pieces for next spring/summer. They normally are not too trendy but they might be just a little bit attention-grabbing. Here are some of my favorites from Neiman Marcus...
Bethany Ruched Leather Satchel from Elie Tahari in Sepia, was $798 now $359. I love this off shade that I often use an 'alternative' neutral, and the leather is just too delicious. Sometimes I enjoy a short handle on a bag as I can use it to rest on my forearm.
Mixed-Stripe V-Neck Dress from Piazza Sempione in Navy Stripes, was $1,150 now $402. I find v-neck necklines particularly flattering on me and especially a sweet A-line skirt on a dress! I can see myself wearing this out to dinner with M, paired with some espadrilles and maybe a cardigan if it gets cool!
Floral Halter Blouse by Roberto Cavalli, was $1,045 now $365. I love chinoiserie prints, and I could wear this top to work with pants, a pencil skirt and topped off with any of my blazers or jackets. Such an elegant top.
"Harper" Leather Envelope Clutch from Diane von Furstenberg in Luggage, was $495 now $331. Sometimes designers put silver hardware with brown leather, and I cannot stand it. I love how the warmth of gold meshes well with the different tones of brown. This clutch looks elegant for work lunches and also dresses down for going out at night too. It comes with a convenient shoulder strap (looks good used as a cross-body strap!).
Printed Dress With Solid Sleeves from Jason Wu in teal/coral, was $2,300 now $805. Really unique but lovely dress! It is a teal/coral print with short raglan black sleeves and coral trim... with a jewel neckline featuring coral trim... fitted to waist with a black band and coral trim, flaring out into a pleated A-line skirt which has side slit pockets using coral trim. I think it is fun! You certainly would not need much for accessories, maybe a pair of stud earrings and a cuff bracelet.

Are there any gorgeous (or unique!) designer pieces on sale that you loved this season, held out on buying them, and may purchase now?