Tuesday, August 23, 2016

CONGRATULATIONS, LOUIE AND ABBI - AUGUST 13, 2016

Lots to show - lots to tell - and the summer isn't over yet.  I have travel posts and more, now that I'm back, but wanted to start with the one dearest to my heart at the moment.
It's the reason my last post has been on for years months, and I apologize, but it was a nice post to leave in place.
This post starts a brand new chapter in our lives.  My son, Louie, and his sweet bride, Abbi, were married two weeks ago, at the University Club in Denver.
In deference to the real photographer, I snapped only candids  - the evening rehearsal and the big event couldn't have been better!
Short on words here, except to say it took our breath away, in more ways than one.
My daughter, Jaci, with her posse of groomsmen - two of whom have been her buddies just about forever.
I did notice my son's favorite chocolate cake, hidden inside this gorgeousness.
Their engagement picture received signatures from guests.
Beautiful University Club in downtown Denver, built in the late 1800's.
Rehearsal shenanigans...
Abbi enjoying the dance...
The wedding venue was a block away from Denver's beautiful, gold-leafed capital building.
My son told my parents, the evening of the rehearsal, that he was hoping to emulate their own marriage - I think he's off to a great start.
60 years strong!
Jaci and best man, Chris - one of the greatest friends ever, to both of my kids.
Jaci and her cousin, my sweet niece, Jessi.
And, for those who never COULD figure out the color of that damned Internet dress, proof positive that it was black and white...just like the chairs!!!

Congratulations Louie and Abbi - here's to your own 60 years!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

60 YEARS IN THE MAKING! A TWO-FOLD FATHER'S DAY POST...

Happy 60th Anniversary, Mom and Dad!
Happy Father's Day, Dad!
Because these two met, fell in love, and tied that knot 60 years ago, on June 17th.
ALL because of that,
I AM!

You have my heart, you two!  XOXO  Tony


Monday, May 30, 2016

Saturday, May 28, 2016

"MORE TEQUILAS THAN SEATS" - LA COMIDA MEXICAN RESTAURANT, LAS VEGAS...

This is one of those "damned if you do/damned if you don't" posts - something you want to keep secret, but you also want to make sure it thrives and stays where it is.  La Comida, in downtown Las Vegas, is just that!

Straight from their own mouths:  "La Comida is a Mexican Restaurant with Mexican food and American rock.  A sensory departure from reality with spice, sound, color and the warmth of tequila at the back of your throat.  In the spirit of downtown Las Vegas, this venture takes a familiar favorite and twists it in unexpected and irreverent ways, as Jenna and Michael Morton are known to do, indulging both the simple taco lover and the mole connoisseur".
We stumbled upon this sheerly by happy accident.  Jesus in the bar (seen from the open patio window, as we walked by), blessing the wine and tequila, made us do a double take - and it was all uphill from there.  I've been back three times, since - each a new taste experience...definitely try the mole!  That's a six foot neon skeletal monkey on the front of the building.
Entrance is down "that" alley from the previous post (not that far down the alley - just off the main street), and is charming as all get-out.  Calavera skulls and the Virgin of Guadalupe welcome diners.
With PLENTY of inside (as well as patio) seating, if their tag line is correct, the tequila list must be killer!  Can't say enough about the food in this place - you'll have to take my word for it (and I LOVE my Mexican food), and just go!  Servers are friendly; meals are plated on mismatched vintage dinnerware; margaritas come in mason jars; and the decor does, indeed, ROCK...
even in the bathrooms, where this beautiful angel with the neon halo stands watch.
In town and visiting the downtown area...or LIVING in Vegas and looking for a new spot with fabulous food and unbelievable charm?  Check it out for yourself - 

Friday, May 27, 2016

LEFTOVER LOVE FROM THE "LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL FESTIVAL"...

The fourth annual Life is Beautiful Festival (THE three day MUSIC, culinary, arts, and learning experience extraordinaire - a modern day Woodstock meets Electric Daisy Carnival, of sorts) will be held in downtown Las Vegas. in September.  As part of the revitalization of this area (and certainly as part of this enormous festival), international artists have been brought in the past three years, to install and paint amazing artworks.  Left in place after the yearly festival is done, they have most certainly added amazing ambiance to the area.  I'll try to be short on words in this post - enjoy the murals.
 ENTIRELY air-bushed (or at least as close as two art teacher friends and I could determine).
 
"Same"...
I do have to interject here.  This is in an alley next to the restaurant we ate at.  We walked as far as we could until we ran into transients sleeping, and decided it was a good turning around point.  Plus, we couldn't be sure if the shoes over the power lines were a real indicator of shady drug dealings, or just another "art installation" to go along with all of this (which would be my guess, with the great eating and drinking establishments around it), but we turned around anyway.  This fenced off area is the back of a local bar.  The paintings were beautiful - again, all airbrushed.
And less than six months later, the paranoid blonde has been replaced with Sherlock and a Unicorn!  The bums and shoes were still there, however.
"Interactive" graffiti'd wall, past the alleyway...
That has morphed, itself, in the past months!
Further down the same street - I love this enormous "bird".  The rocket ship mosaic was set into the wall, and no bigger than my hand.
How koi!  I think it's a gold fish, actually.
I believe this is the abandoned Vegas casino/motel that is turned into an "art gallery" of sorts, during the festival.
Another of my favorites - this sits across the street from the Praying Mantis - Meerkats, on a BUS, made entirely from cast off junk (shaded by a lone palm tree casting that weird shadow).
And next to what looks to be the "Last Chance" for those "kats" to beat it out of town, at this bus stop!
Sign, sign, everywhere a sign...that's my own camera lens in the center of a tiny mirror attached to a street light.

Thankful for anything that helps to clean up a desperately run-down area, this is most certainly the new hot spot in Vegas.  There are many, MANY more murals than these as you drive around this area - all you have to do is look.  I'm sure many of these will be covered (if the alley is any indication) for this year's festival - excited to see what September brings, anew!  Tomorrow:  a great restaurant tip while you're there, looking...

Thursday, May 26, 2016

SHOPPING, SPIRITS, AND BOWTIE LESSONS AT THE DOWNTOWN CONTAINER PARK...

Sitting behind the giant praying mantis from yesterday's post, you're gonna' find one of the most eclectic and fun shopping spots in "new" downtown Las Vegas - 39 unique, one-of-a-kind boutique shops and galleries, along with restaurants, bars, an interactive playground, and a stage area for evening entertainment...ALL HOUSED IN REPURPOSED SHIPPING CONTAINERS!
Tiny shops - just the perfect size, really - in this cleverly designed, triple-decker complex.  Shopping (with pretty great prices, actually) and eating around the perimeter, playtime fun in the center.
Retail hours are from 11:00 am to 9:00pm most days, with the restaurant and bar hours extending to 11:00 pm and 1:00 am, weekends - 21 and older after 9:00 pm. - for more info, click here:
The signage on the establishments housed here brought a smile on the days we visited - ranging from beautiful retro neon...
to bright and melodic...
and straightforward!
Made ya' use your noggin...
and some humorous double entendres!
Best laughs of the day, clever beef jerky shop owners!
They've got SCADS of creative fun with a little weirdness here (socks, candy from your past, AND "hipster" vibes, all in one spot) - have an hour or two?  GO!
We stopped for no llamas that day, but across the street is THIS...
BEST doggie day care center I think I've ever seen!
A play park for your canine children that puts the one for human children, inside the Container Park, to shame - both in size (a HUGE, beautiful, grass park) and it's furry occupants!  These pooches were having the absolute time of their lives, while their people worked.

Yup - the downtown area is the up and coming hotspot of Vegas...tomorrow (I can't believe I've stayed on top of this!) we're going walkabout among the street artworks there - stay tuned.