Sunday, May 3, 2015

Vegas and Other Things

As I mentioned in my previous post, there has been a lot going on lately.  Life is good--scratch that, it's great!--but I guess I just feel like I've entered a time of transition.  I know I am definitely growing... I've had a lot of experiences lately that have pushed me way outside of my comfort zone (some that I have sought out on my own, some that have found me) and I truly believe that living on the edge between the known and unknown is the only way you really find yourself.  That doesn't mean it's always easy, but you cannot have the good without the bad... and frankly, life is too damn short for a glass that is half-empty!

I started this post in April, and now it is May.  What? How is this possible?! I wish someone could tell me where this year is going because I would really like to know!  Anyway, I started the month having just run in the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K, my second go-round (a day I still need to write about; it was one of my favorite races!).  A few weeks later, I ventured to the Greater Rockford Area to attend a bridal shower at my aunt's house for my dear future sister-in-law, B.  I am so excited to be gaining her as a sister and I am so happy for her and for my little brother, too!  (My little brother who just got a teaching job for next fall, SO proud of him--big sister beaming over here!)  Anyway, they are getting married at the end of this month, and we are all excited for the celebrations to come.  The shower was so lovely, on a beautiful Spring day, and it was great to spend time with

I also got to see my sister A. that weekend, which was so wonderful!  We are both so busy with work (me) and school (her) and life in general (both of us!) but I think of her all the time, and when we are reunited, we always pick up right where we left off.  Anyway, this visit was particularly exciting because she shared the news of a new addition to the family--my new niece or nephew, due in September!  I am over the moon delighted to be an aunt and it was so fun to be there when she told our parents and the other family members that she told that week.  I am super proud of myself that I was able to keep that secret, haha.  A. and B. are going to be great parents and I can't wait to meet that sweet little baby!

So the shower was on a Saturday, and then the following Wednesday: I got up at 3am, worked from 4am-2pm, drove back to the city, took a shower, grabbed my bags, took the El to O'Hare, and hopped on a plane to Las Vegas for 4 days.  By myself.  Now, while I was out there, I spent some time hanging out with my older brother C. and his girlfriend, which was fantastic!  But this was my first solo trip, and it was phenomenal.  I stayed at the Luxor for 2 nights and Treasure Island for the last night and it was great to get the experience of 2 hotels with 2 different atmospheres.

As for my trip itinerary, well... besides seeing my brother, I caught up on sleep, drank just enough fruity, slushy drinks, ate good food, explored the Strip during the day and at night, read 4 books in total (some people go to Vegas to gamble; I go to read, haha), saw The Beatles: LOVE at the Mirage, an incredible experience and AMAZING show, relaxed by the pool, checked out a gorgeous college campus, saw the Welcome sign (finally!), rode in the High Roller at night, and then I flew home First Class, a red eye that brought me back to O'Hare at shortly before 5 in the morning.

It was a whirlwind of a trip but I enjoyed every second of it.  Every trip I have taken to Las Vegas--this was my 4th visit--has been completely different from the rest, something I love!  I already can't wait to go back, but next time I hope to take the husband with me.  It was great to spend some time in different scenery, and the weather was fantastic, too!  The perfect weekend getaway.

More to come soon--I still haven't written a recap of the Shamrock Shuffle; I also ran in a 10K this morning and it was an experience unlike any other race I've had!  It was a good challenge, and definitely something worth writing down.  I've been doing a lot of reading lately (a lot of poetry, so nice) but also a lot of writing, too... and it feels lovely to be inhibiting this space again.


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