Vegas Vacations

Well, hello there, internet friends.  How lovely to see you again!

So recently Jason and I took a quick weekend trip to Vegas to hang with Mr. Larry Marshall (aka El), bask in the sunshine, hang with some AWESOME Canadian friends, and rock climb.  We were going a bit crazy here in the gray Pacific NW.  The sun has NOT been shining.  In fact, it is generally so NOT sunny here that Portlanders have this crazy colloquialism about mountains– anytime it’s clear enough and nice enough to see the mountains that are everywhere around here, Portlanders start talking about the mountains being ‘out’.  As if they go ‘in’ somewhere.  Seriously.  “The mountains are out today.”  It’s just crazy.

So, we hopped a plane and flew south.  Day 1 had us hiking and chillin’ with El, who has lived here for the last year or so.  We ate food, drank a few beers, even hung out in the hot tub.  It was pretty rockin’.  We were very serious about success– lunch was delicious grocery store sushi, out on the rocks.  That’s just how we roll.

Now that’s a beautiful family.
Who are these adorable people?

 We sat in the hot tub, relaxed, and visited the strip to eat some delicious food and see the sights the first evening, and ran into this guy:

Fist bump.

Ha!  Anyway.  Random. 

Saturday we ran out to meet up with the most awesome of awesome friends.  We originally met Dave and Leanna through Kyle and Leslie last year, on the ‘Moving to Portland Trip of Amazing-ness’.  You may recall a few mentions of them in my blog posts (because they are AWESOME).  So we had arranged to be in Vegas together for a few days to re-live the road trip!

The weather was gorgeous,and it was as if we had been transported back in time to last February.  We bouldered, talked crap, and generally enjoyed ourselves. 

Suns out, guns out.  Max, Adam, Jason and Dave.  Our own ‘Thunder from Down Under’!

Chillin’.  We are clearly too cool for school.  Which is why we’re in Vegas.
Friends!  Now that’s awesome.
Eddie and Rachel were also in Vegas, honeymoon-ing it up!  Clearly, this was fate (not planned at all).  They took a day off of crushing rigs to rest and be our peanut gallery as we fell off everything at Craft boulders. 


Jason and Eddie soaking up some Vitamin D.

I have no idea.  But it’s too great not to post.

I think Rachel photoshopped this one.

The above pictures are courtesy of one Rachel Avallone, aka Twin Cannons, crusher of rocks.  We got to hang out a bit more as well, drinking a beer and demolishing some giant nachos.  We miss you guys.  Want to move to Portland?  No?  Okay. 

Our last evening of our whirlwind trip, we had some dinner plans with Jason’s dad, stepmom, and sister.  We had tickets to Tournament of Kings, which sounds ridiculously cheesy, and turned out AMAZING.  Seriously.  You sit in this arena setup, with stadium seating arranged around a dirt arena.  When you buy tickets, you are assigned a section, and each section is assigned a knight, for whom you have to cheer extremely loudly and bang your hands on the table.  We were assigned the Knight of Norway, and of course we totally thought Norway would win the entire tournament.  Needless to say, despite excessive cheering from our section, he did not.  The game is rigged.

But it was awesome– jousting, sword fighting, galloping horses, pyrotechnics, and lots of beer.  They wouldn’t allow photos in the arena, so I can’t show you just how awesome it was, but suffice to say that every time it got even a little quiet, Jason would bellow at the top of his lungs, “NORWAY!!!”  It was great.  I did manage to take the following photos:

Jason’s trying to steal the ax.
Jason and Miranda with our Norwegian knight.  He totally looks Norwegian, don’t you think?

After the Tournament, we headed out to ‘do Vegas’, as Jason said, and met up with our ridiculously awesome Canadian friends again.  We headed to a piano bar in the New York New York casino, where two dueling pianos play basically anything you request and want to pay for.  It was really fun– the pianists tried to create rivalries in the audience, so that people would pay more to hear a song that represented their group.  It was crazy– by the end of the night, people were dropping $100 a song!  We, of course, cheered loudly for all Canadian songs, and so became honorary Canadians, in case we weren’t already.  We danced, and sang along to all the songs we knew, and generally caused a ruckus.  And anytime it got even slightly quiet, Jason and I would yell, at the top of our lungs, “NORWAY!!!”  Awesome.

Dave and Leanna, team of awesomeness.  This is Dave’s happy photo face.

Adam Seely, Dave and Leanna’s HILARIOUS Vegas amigo and tour guide, also part of team awesome.
Just look at these happy gentlemen!

Yeah, we’re pretty cute.

At random times in the evening, Jason would yell out ‘Maple Leaf!’, and this is what he and Leanna would create.  Amazing.

Guns ‘N Roses calls for serious air guitar.

Our group for the evening.

It didn’t end there, either… after the piano bar, Jason, Leanna, Adam and I went to a dance club near Harrah’s, where we were staying, and ended up dancing, playing blackjack, and generally being awesome until 4am.  I was almost even mad when the dance joint closed, thinking, “It’s so EARLY!  I thought Vegas stayed open all night!”  And then I realized what time it was, and that I had to get up at 8 the next morning to catch a plane at 11:45.  Yeah. 

Needless to say the flight home was hard, but totally worth every minute of pain.

We had a blast.  And got to see so many great people in such a short amount of time!  I sincerely wish all of them would move to Portland.  But if they won’t, seeing them in Vegas occasionally is a great second choice.

So we’re back home now, doing the usual.  This is what is happening in Portland right now:

Okay, so maybe that’s not right now.  But it was happening last weekend, with our first 75 degree day of the year!  This may seem like way too late to just now be reaching 75 degrees if you live in the south… but seriously.  People were freaking out.  Everyone was leaving work early last Friday, ghastly white legs were everywhere, basically nothing got done all weekend.  In other parts of the country, you may have ‘snow days’, or ‘bad weather days’… Portland has ‘sun days’.  Seriously.  When it’s sunny, the whole town seems to lose it’s mind, and no one can stay at work.  It’s quite lovely, actually.

If you’re in need of some more convincing that you should visit Portland (not right now, but more like, say August, when it’s actually warm and sunny), you should check out this flickr page, which will make you drool.  And there isn’t even food involved.  Seriously.  It’s gorgeous in these parts.

Aaaaand, see that building with the White Stag sign on it?  That’s my new building, which houses my new job!!!!  I start on Monday the 8th!  Very excited.  Anyway, enough ranting.  I’m still pasty white, as the sun has now gone away and it’s rainy and 50 degrees again, and we will have to wait until June-uary to see it again (that’s June, but it’s still cold and rainy, like January– a specific NW month). 

Nonetheless, things are well.  We’re hiking, climbing (indoors), and doing the usual.

We miss you, all of you that don’t live here!  You should start making your summer Portland visit plans…until next time!

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