Horsin’ Around

They say The Kentucky Derby is the most exciting 2 minutes in sports. But really sometimes it’s the last 10 seconds that is the most exciting!!  I love betting on the longshots, the underdogs because if one of those long shots wins its a nice payout. We have been going to local horse tracks for many years but this year we decided to go to the granddaddy of them all – Churchill Downs!!  Kentucky is just about a hour and a half drive from Nashville so after the Zac Brown Band concert on Friday we decided to forgo bar hopping with our friends so we could wake up bright and early to head to Louisville.  Even though it was early it was hard not to enjoy the lovely drive, everything was green and lush! Once we drove up to Churchill Downs we found a primo parking spot in the neighborhood across from the track and we were all set for the grandeur of traditional horse racing at its finest!

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{the essentials for the Derby}

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{the Twin Spires of Churchill Downs}

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{the Infield – before it gets crazy}

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[AND one of the reasons the Infield gets crazy}

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{where the horses walk into the Paddock and the jockeys come down the stairs on the left}

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{the Paddock}

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{American Pharaoh – potential Triple Crown winner!}

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{love a horse in pink!}

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{the Red Carpet AFTER all the celebrities had walked through}

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{the BEST Mint Julep E.V.E.R. – and the glass was a souvenir.  P.S. I have 2 souvenirs!}

My husband was the big winner that day. It was the best win he’s ever had at a racetrack and I can’t tell you how happy he was that it happened at such a special event.

This is a vacation I will never forget and I am so thankful I got to experience it!

AND I WILL be going back!

Have a great week!

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The One in Nashville

So if I had an official bucket list, going to the Kentucky Derby would be on that list. I got to check that off my bucket list and we had the greatest time exploring Nashville with our friends and me and hubby went to the Derby.
We talked to so many nice people from all over the U.S. it was the best experience!
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{Leaving So. Cal}

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{so many boot shops}

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{first meal in Nashville)

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{Downtown Nashville from Honkey Tonk Cafe – 3 story bar with a band on each floor}

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{I was on XM Radio The Highway!! – another bucket list check off}

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{View of downtown Nashville from XM studio}

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{Went to Zac Brown Band concert! It was great and I am now a fan!!}

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{surprise guest Kid Rock}

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{Tour of Nashville while having a few drinks? Genius!! Thanks Nashville Party Barge!

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{Guitars in front of a Nashville recording studio}

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{Jager gives me the chills but I liked this sign found in a bar called Losers}

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{Another fun sign at the entrance of one of hundreds of bars downtown!}

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{Hot sauces could be found anywhere!! – ACK!! Flamin’ Flatulence!?!}

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{Best time with BFF!!}

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{And the best food – Fried Chicken at Hattie B’s, and the banana pudding was to die for!}

I absolutely loved Nashville and will definitely be back but next time I will make sure to bring my old cowboy boots!!

Stay tuned for my Kentucky Derby recap!

Paradise – Final Chapter

I’m wrapping up this 3 part post about our family’s trip to Oahu.  Our last full day was spent with my Dad going to Honolulu to see Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona memorial.  I remember going there when I was a little kid and seeing the older veterans dressed in their uniforms that would volunteer at the memorial center so you ask them questions, listen to their stories or just to say “thank you” but it made me really sad to see they’re not there anymore because they have either passed away or just can’t get there. They truly are the greatest generation in my opinion.

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It was such an emotional place to be and experience and see actual footage of what happened there so many years ago. This was my 3rd time there it gets me every time.

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We then went to Waikiki Beach for lunch on the beach. We ended up at Duke’s which was ok but I did have a nice tropical drink to go along with the beautiful weather.

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Then out of nowhere it got dark and started pouring as we were walking around  but just as fast as it started it stoppedIMG_7079

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*****Extra nice touches from Aulani ****

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{The Adult Infinity Pool overlooking the beach}

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{the architecture of the lobby at Aulani is beautiful. Very Hawaiian and many of the structures were shaped like old canoes}

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{Strawberry Velvet pancakes with Cream Cheese syrup! YUM at the Restaurant Ama’ ama’  at Aulani}

IMG_7101Since we were at Aulani during Halloween they had some activities for the kids. My nephews dressed up as Star Wars characters and were able to trick or treat around the hotel grounds. (Unfortunately we were stuck in major traffic coming home from Honolulu and did not get to see them.)  There was also a pumpkin carving contest at the hotel and the above was the winning pumpkin. It was an amazing looking pumpkin “hamburger with cheese and fries on the side”

It was such a great time to spend time with my family and it was so special for all of us. Thanks to my Dad for treating and spoiling us as always. The only thing missing was my Mom but I know she is happy and she is always with us.

I’m working on putting a photo album of our trip to Oahu and I came across this quote that pretty much sums it up.

The Love of a Family is Life’s Greatest Blessings

Have a great week my friends!!

Paradise . . . Part 2

We were only going to be in Hawaii for 4 days so we had to make the most of our stay.  Our 2nd day on Oahu was busy and went by so fast.  We drove to the North Shore and took my oldest nephew with us. We were heading to a beach where sea turtles come up to beach themselves but the waves were bigger and more turbulent than usual so once we got to that beach there were no turtles to be seen.  =(   But at least we did get to see and experience the beautiful North Shore!

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{on our way to the North Shore}IMG_6845

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We then drove to the Dole Pineapple Plantation and Farm and there is actually a lot to do there. They have a pineapple maze and a guided tour and huge store with everything you can imagine. We opted for the train ride through the fields of all different fruits and flowers they have planted there. Oh yes and they have the most amazing Pineapple Ice Cream!! YUM!!

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{the Pineapple Express}

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{I never realized how many different kinds and sizes of pineapples there are! Some were so cute and tiny!}

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{Tons of banana trees)

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{such silliness}IMG_6876

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{we stopped to have lunch at a little road side stand- Hula dogs and Fresh Pineapple Juice}

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{crazy Koi waiting to be fed}

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{AHH which way to go????}

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That night we went to a Luau down the street from Aulani.  It was a lot of fun and the Mai-Tai’s were strong! =)

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{Beautiful ceremony at the Luau}

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{This was the beautiful sunset the night of my husband’s birthday dinner at a fantastic restaurant at Aulani}

AHHH I miss Hawaii!!

Come back for the final post!

Paradise on Earth

A week ago I was on the sands of Oahu . . . . OH how I wish I could go back.  My wonderful Dad has always wanted to go a family vacation and now that both me and my sister are married and there are little ones in our family .  We ended up booking our stay at Disney’s Aulani in Oahu.  Yes its a Disney resort but its so subtle you don’t feel you’re at one of their parks.  It was absolutely beautiful but then again when is Hawaii NOT beautiful??!!

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{ALLOOOHAAAA beautiful water}

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{view from our room}

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{ a little Mickey surprise in the room}

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{View  of Aulani from a little cove down the way}

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{wedding chapel on the grounds}

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{ a little pina colada while relaxing}

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{Lucky hubby got to celebrate his birthday while in Hawaii!}

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{Can you believe these are the grills for public use by the marina in Ko’ Olina? Stainless and tools all included and kept very clean!}

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{the marina}

Our full first day there we stayed  near the property and walked to 3 lagoons down the way and to the marina, hubby snorkeled and I relaxed on the beach. It was so nice but we knew we were not going to be staying very long on the island so the next few days were going to be busy and packed!

I’m going to leave it that for now because I want you to come back for Part 2!!!

MAHALO FOR READING!!

HAPPY WEEKEND!!

A week ago . . .

I was on what I (and a bunch of other people) call a “staycation”.  You know where you don’t really go away anywhere but you’re not at work so it’s definitely a vacation.  My hubby took two weeks off but I only took one week off. He did SOOO many things around the house! He chopped down a dead tree in our front yard; worked on our yard and house and he also refurnished an old cabinet of mine for my “princess cave” (his words not mine).

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It used to be a unfinished cabinet I bought from some cheap place YEARS ago when I moved out on my own. Its been in the garage and he was actually going to throw it out or give it away a few years ago but I asked him to keep it. Well he painted it white and then sanded it down to give it a shabby chic look and pained the handles a bright hot pink with some spray paint I had. Voila! Perfect for my princess cave =)

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 {Fig and Olive is actually next to Red O (awesome mexican cuisine) seen here

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One of the first things we did with our week off was go to Orange County to visit my Dad.  He took us to lunch at Fig & Olive at Fashion Island in Newport Beach and it was so good. I had a healthy quinoa salad so I could splurge on the dessert above – berry tart with vanilla mascarpone. YUM!!

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We also hung out with friends on our staycation and I actually got to see the lovely lady who introduced me to my husband, and who wasn’t trying to set us up,  and who I hadn’t seen in about 9 years!! One day we rented a Duffy boat (or as we were calling it a Muffy Boat, don’t ask) and took a cruise around Newport Harbor. We all brought goodies and drinks to share with each other and it was more than enough. We saw a sea lion lounging on a old small dock and a very expensive Google catamaran that looked like it hadn’t been touched in years! We ended our  fun day with fantastic dinner and mojito (for me) at Watermarc in Laguna Beach.  Can’t wait to do that again!!

I can’t tell you how many drinks I had during my staycation but if you follow me on instagram you saw quite a few pictures of the different sangrias and mimosas I had!  (**hanging my head in shame** ya not really)

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{this was best ^^^ a Cuban Sangria from a little cuban place in our little town}

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{pomegranate mimosa for me passion fruit mimosa for my partner in crime at Cafe Mimosa

We drove into Orange County again the night before my husband was going fishing with his friend so after we had a delicious dinner at their house my friend and I managed a shopping trip to Marshalls (she finds the cutest dresses there!) and then hit a local wine bar  Five Vines for a glass (or 2) of Frisk Prickly Rosso. We never had this wine before but it was so refreshing and good, it was like a chilled rose´. I’ll be looking for it from now on.

So the next day while my hubby was fishing with his friend, my friend and I had a girls day which should have included a trip to her gym but plans changed and we went to lunch and mimosas instead.  Such a terrible plan!! NOT!! LOL =)

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I’m sure you heard there was a harvest moon so I was trying to get a good photo of it but being on the road and using an iphone didn’t make the best picture.   The first picture was the sunset setting on a big thunder cloud and you can see the moon coming up to the left of the cloud.  I got ready at 8:30 p.m. to take a picture of the moon at the exact time it was supposed to be red but wouldn’t you know some cloud covering rolled over it and this is the best I got! FAIL!

So these were the highlights of my staycation and I must say I could get used to these, especially if they happened more often!!

Have a GREAT week everyone!!

T.G.I.F.

Thank goodness its Friday!! Even though it was a short week for me it’s still been a long one!! Today I just have some random IPhone pictures and a wish for you to have a very happy Easter this weekend!

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My sister instagrammed this as  TAXI CAB CONFESSIONS on our way to Toby Keith’s Bar in Vegas. Not sure what happened because I really don’t remember taking this picture!  OY!!

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This is at the Palazzo and every season they change the scenery in the lobby and other open areas in the hotel. Its super pretty! This time there were cherry blossoms everywhere.

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 Isn’t this the cutest restaurant pager EVER? Grimaldi’s Pizzeria has the best pizza and when your table is ready this little slice of heaven lights up in true Vegas form!!

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From the lobby of the Cosmopolitan I present the biggest shoe I’ve ever seen!!

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 A candy store at the Venetian shops has a HUGE assortment of all candies and the biggest dum dum ever! Oh ya and I’m holding two really big lollipops too (GET IT??)  HAHAHA

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 My favorite outfit of my work week!  Tweed skirt from H&M on sale right now for $15, Forever 21 black sleeveless blouse; black Target heels.

HAPPY EASTER PEEPS!

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