26 February 2010

Honeymoon in Las Vegas

So, the honeymoon (part one)…

We started out our honeymoon (or as we started to joke – the jam-star or marmalade-sun) by driving to Las Vegas early Saturday morning to go see the USA Rugby Sevens. It might seem like an odd honeymoon location\event, but seeing as our first ever vacation together was the year previously for the USA Rugby Sevens in San Diego, it just sort of made sense. What I didn’t know when we attended the event last year, was that people tend to dress up in costumes for Sevens. Some costumes make sense but more often than not, they don’t. Last year I saw a guy with a fake ‘stach, 70’s hot shorts, and a pair of fairy wings. It makes no sense, but it’s fun, so what the hell? I knew I wanted us to dress up for this year’s event but we had a hard time decided what to go as. I really wanted to go as garden gnomes, but the outfit required sewing skills which I just don’t have. At the last minute, we finally decided to go as kings as we already had the beards and it kind of correlated to our support for England (hey! I have family there now!). Of course, once we got dressed up and attached said beards, I realized mine was just too damn itchy and I took it off claiming I was simply a queen. No big deal though it was a pain to navigate around a big bushy beard while rummaging around in my purse for things. Our costumes were a huge hit (more due to Andy’s awesome beard then the costumes in general) and we got asked to pose for many pictures.

Tom Boyd Stadium

King and Queen with their cheesy subjects

The first day at USA Rugby Sevens went pretty quick. We met up with my buddy, Tom, and his group of rugby cheeseheads, watched the matches, posed for pictures, and drank beer. Around 4 o’clock, Andy and I both made the mistake of ordering a Pina Colada alcoholic smoothie thing. I ended up getting the World’s Worst Heartburn and Andy developed symptoms of heat stroke. Boy, aren’t we fun? We hopped on the shuttle back to the Hotel from Hell, and rested for a few hours. By 7 PM we were feeling better and ventured out for some gambling. We went next door to the Tropicana and Andy taught me how to play craps Vegas style (versus company Christmas party style which I found is much more lenient). In my version of Craps Vegas Style, I order a new beer anytime the waitress comes around even if I’m not done with my last one (or one before that), I ask the craps dealer every time I lay down a chip if I’m doing it correctly, talk 18 levels more loudly than normal, continue to gamble even though the table is cold, and make people who I think are “lucky” stay at the table for “one more roll”. All in all, Andy lost $150 and I lost $40, which isn’t that bad considering we were there for almost two hours.

Valentine's Day King and Queen, sadly sans beards.

The next morning we slept in, got something to eat, and then headed back over to the USA Rugby Sevens. It was more of the same from the day previous but we managed to drink water in between beers and not get sick, and Andy (the awesome husband that he is) bought me a necklace and earring set from one of the vendors in honor of Valentine’s Day (he probably doesn’t want me telling you what a softie he is (sorry!)). At the end, we left and got the world’s worst meal at some English pub on Tropicana and then gambled at craps a bit more at the Hotel from Hell. I managed to win $80 off the Hotel from Hell, so I feel a bit good about that. I was tempted to throw my $80 on the floor and roll around in it chanting, “Suck it Hooters” but that would have been both highly inappropriate and really unsanitary.

We left Vegas on Monday morning around 11 AM. Most of the time, if you live in California and you go to Vegas, you will leave on Sunday. This is a fine except that you have to remember that EVERYONE is leaving Vegas on Sunday. If you don’t leave before 10 AM, fully expect that 4 hour drive to turn into 7 hours. As it was Monday, I honestly thought we were impervious to this. It’s Monday! Everyone will be back at work already! No problems! Yeah, except it was President’s Day…and we got stuck in Baker. And it took us over an hour to pass through Victorville…and Corona. When you are a bit partied out and incredibly tired, the last thing you want is to sit in traffic for 7 hours. But that’s exactly what we did.

Watch Andy try to be nice about his fellow drivers after exclaiming moments previously that he wanted to pull everyone out of their cars, beat them with a dirty badger and eat their livers.

NEXT...Honeymoon in New Orleans.

22 February 2010

Hooters Hotel and Casino : The Vegas Hotel from Hell

So we’re back from our liver wrecking honeymoon. Hope you all had a good week at work whilst we were cheering for England at the USA Rugby 7’s in Vegas, and grabbing for beads and riding air boats in New Orleans. I’ll get into the fun stuff later, but since my review of Hooters Hotel and Casino at Trip Advisor is on my mind, I thought I would get that out of the way so I’m not as bitter when I write the rest. Basically, I want to put this warning out there for anyone who might stumble upon this post looking for a review of the Hooters Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

While staying at Hooters Hotel wasn’t exactly my idea of a romantic honeymoon location, Hooters affiliated themselves with the USA Rugby 7’s, offering a lowered room rate and a free shuttle to Tom Boyd Stadium (a good 20 minutes away from the Strip) for the matches. Andy and I are frugal enough for this to be appealing, so we went ahead and booked it.

We left on Saturday morning at 8 AM and by 12:30 PM, were pulling into Hooter’s Hotel parking garage. Hooters is actually nicely situated a mere block off the Strip on Tropicana, next to (what else) the Tropicana Hotel. While 12:30 is a bit early to check in, most hotels (especially in Vegas) allow an earlier check in. The latest check in I’ve ever had in all the hotels I’ve been was 3 PM, but many have allowed me to check in as early at 11 AM if rooms are available. After waiting at the front desk while one hotel clerk handled the line (this is Vegas people!), we finally got up to the counter only to be told check in wasn’t until 4 PM. Since the rugby games had already started and only went to 7 PM, we agreed to have the concierge hold our bags until we got back. That is, WHEN we saw the concierge, which wasn’t for another 20 minutes. We were quite grumpy by then and it didn’t help that we ended up shelling out $12 for two bottles of Amstel Light at the Hooter’s Hotel Bar.

With our bags stored, we went to the matches (another post for another day). Shuttle to and from the stadium was fine. We finally checked into our room at 7 PM, well exhausted. At first the room doesn’t seem too bad. This is what I’d like to call Effective Decorating. What we didn't see right away was:
  • Lumpy pillows
  • Dirt on the floor and shower in bathroom
  • TV that occasionally decides not to work
  • Broken patio door lock
  • Ridiculously small and ineffective mini-disks of soap
  • BLOOD (yes, blood) smeared on the bathroom door frame
We were tired, a bit hungry, and just wanted to get out to play some craps. This would be our undoing.

Not wanted to spend the evening at Hooters, we walked over to the Tropicana where we had an excellent time. We strolled back to Hooters at 10 PM and tried very unsuccessfully, to get some sleep. This is never an easy task when your head is lying on what feels like 18 pieces of broken foam.

The next day we woke up early and took our showers. At 8 AM, with the hot water tap turned to the highest setting and the cold tap completely turned off, we got two cold showers. It was cold enough that I caught my breath when I first stepped in. We were in a hurry to get something to eat and get to the rugby matches, so again, we didn’t complain. It was only after we got back later that night and I may have drank a bit too much that I remembered that I wanted to speak to the manager. This was also my fault. The barely 20 year old manager on duty wanted nothing to do with me. When I tried to explain as best I could about the room – the blood, the pillows, the cold water – I was told a very dismissive “sorry” and “I can’t do anything about it if you are going to decide to complain 30 hours later.” Fair enough but I’m still put off about it so I’m telling you all. You want a disgusting room for cheap off the Strip with bad customer service, by all means, stay at Hooters Hotel and Casino.

Not that this would come as any surprise, but the morning we left, we decided to get room service. I know, I know, we should have known better. If you call in for room service at Hooter’s Hotel and Casino expect your food to come “an hour to an hour 45 minutes” later and to be cold and tasteless.

NEXT…a happy tale about our honeymoon.

12 February 2010

That's the way it is.

It's amazing the power of 24 Crayola crayons-brand new out of the box with all their shiny waxy pointy tips-when you're having a rough day.

08 February 2010

Vegetarian Jambalaya

Ah, New Orleans, how I love you.  Congratulations on your Super Bowl win.  I look forward to celebrating Mardi Gras with you next week when Andy and I are there for our honeymoon.   I understand, New Orleans, that you love your shrimp, andouille sausage, and chicken.  Save the shrimp, I'm right there with you New Orleans.   Bring it on.  I do have a little problem though.   New Orleans, my husband is a vegetarian.  And not a eat fish and chicken vegetarian - one of those real vegetarians who can't have Worcestershire sauce because it's partially made from anchovies (did you know that?  I totally didn't know that).   What's a girl to do, New Orleans?  Your food is soooo good - so flavorful, so spicy, so....it's just so good New Orleans.   I really don't see you offering one of your best - jambalaya - to a vegetarian.  It's all meat you know.  I had to make it myself so he would know what it's like.   Oh New Orleans, you won't believe this either...he is a vegetarian that doesn't like vegetables.  No squash or eggplant.  The internet was no help with all their okra and zucchini and minced shallots.  No, I would have to forge ahead and make a meat Jambalaya, without the meat.  Here's what I came up with...what do you think?   Thankfully there's a market near our house that serves a wide variety of pseudo meat or else this would have been a lost cause.


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Creole seasoning
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 3-4 cups cooked white rice
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1 package Vegetarian sausage (Field Roast makes these) cut into pieces
  • 2 package Vegetarian chicken cut into pieces


  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Stir in onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic. Season with cayenne, onion powder, Creole seasoning, salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes, or until onion is tender and translucent. Stir in vegetable stock, vegetarian sausage, vegetarian chicken and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer 20 minutes. Stir in the hot pepper sauce. Serve over rice.  Makes about 6-8 servings

04 February 2010

Proof that I have done things in Hollywood besides drink

I'm a blogging fool again today. Not to mention that I started a new blog covering my pub quizzes over at Moe's Pub Quiz. It either rains or pours here people.

Anyhow, here are some shots from this past weekend. Andy, Dave, Maggie and I went up to Hollywood to see Eddie Izzard in concert on Saturday night. While the show was awesome, it wasn't 4th row awesome and the full moon seemed to be reeking havoc on the group collectively. But the next day Andy and I went out to see a few things I've always wanted to see and it was a good time...until 9 o'clock that night when we got a call from Dave and Maggie saying they were in a car accident...but that's a story for another day (they are alright in case you were concerned).

The first place I've always wanted to see was the Hollywood Bowl. I'll give you a hint of why I've always wanted to see the Hollywood Bowl:

Recognize it? If you don't, then you were never a pre-teen girl in the 1980's. It's a scene from 'Some Kind of Wonderful' when Keith takes Amanda to the Hollywood Bowl to give her the diamond earrings. As you can see from the next picture (a.k.a. real life) movies are always better left in the movies. I was so bummed the big white balls were missing. (ha! big white balls)

Not to be deterred, the next place I wanted to go was Griffith Park to see the Griffith Observatory. You know why?

That's right. 'Rebel Without a Cause' bitches. Thankfully the Griffith Observatory did not disappoint. The views were gorgeous, the Observatory was Art Deco cool and best of all, it was all free.

I'm feeling rebel-y already.
On the roof of the observatory with the Hollywood sign in the background.

Andy's favorite picture as it makes no sense. Right up his alley.

After all that sightseeing, Andy and I were tired and retired to the relaxation which is Saddle Ranch on Sunset where they have a mechanical bull in the middle of the bar and they aren't afraid to use it. Sorry, too dark to get a picture of the bull, but here was outside.

Alright kiddies, I think I've done enough blogging damage on this blog for today.

4 Bux

Another ditty gathered from Andy's iPhone. This was a sign at Johnny's Saloon in Huntington Beach that I took a picture of and forgot to post. I wasted 5 months and a visit from Bux to let him know that there's a place in Huntington Beach where he can get Wild Turkey and Coke and PBR tall cans for free. As Bux would say, "D'oh."


So last night I had this horrible dream that everyone hated me. It wasn't just one dream, I woke up once and when I feel back to sleep I had another dream where everyone hated me. Vivid dreams like that can fuck with you. You can wake up and still feel lousy for whatever it was that disturbed you while you were sleeping. A bit like that 'Friends' episode where Phoebe announces she's not talking to Ross anymore because of what he said to her in her dream. In my case I woke up and went downstairs and looked at the cat. "Chloe hates me" ran through my brain. Then there was Andy sitting on the couch already hard at work and I frowned and thought, "he hates me too." It took awhile to snap out of it until...

...I went to the DMV. Talk about people who hate you.

Everyone knows the DMV can suck the soul out of anybody. The California DMV takes Soul Sucking to a brand new level, it really does. The California DMV asks (not politely I might mention)that you make an appointment on their website. That is all fine and good if you don't mind waiting over a month for your appointment. (Oh hey, are dentists and the DMV in league with each other?) In the case where you need whatever it is right away, you are forced to become DMV scum and be one of the throngs Without an Appointment. I was one of those scums.

I'm not going to get into waiting in line and all that crap because anybody with a license in any of the US States knows what it's like at the DMV. What I do want to mention is two things:

1) Why are people rude to the DMV employees? I mean, I know WHY, but what's the purpose? I would think the one perk of being a DMV employee is denying anyone the right to drive if that person is being a dick. If I was a DMV employee and the person was being a dick but still had all the proper paperwork to get his driver's license renewed, I'd make shit up.

"No sir, you'll need the 1056-YZQ form filled out, signed and certified by a notary. According to our database, it looks like you might have to get your 2nd cousin in here for fingerprints as he has a lien on your license. I'm sorry sir, there's nothing I can do. If you have a complaint, please write to your local Congressman."

I try to be as polite and clever (no one likes speaking to a dumb ass) as possible when dealing with a DMV employee. This really doesn't get me much except a no conversation, no 'you still need to do this' attitude, and I get processed without problems.

2) After being at the DMV for an hour and a half, I am honestly afraid to drive now. The people that they were issuing licenses to willy nilly was mind boggling. There was a man around 112 years old with an eye patch, half a leg, a speech impediment (I suspect 7 AM gin drinking!), and had his pants on backwards issued a driver's license without a thought. I could only surmise he was very polite.

03 February 2010

Is that a turkey on your head or are you just happy to see me?

Andy just sent over some photos from his iPhone. I have no idea when these were taken, but ha ha!