Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas in Florida

Brad and I fled the "cold" Nevada temperatures for warm sunny Florida for Christmas. We stayed with my family and enjoyed a quiet and relaxing vacation filled with good food, story telling, and laughter.

We golfed at Bardmoor for 3 days. Brad got to try out his new wedges, and I got to use my new driver (how did I ever live without this club in my bag?). The course was extremely challenging, though it was hard to get too frustrated golfing in 70-degree weather in shorts on Christmas day.

On Saturday night, we drove across the bay to Tampa to eat at Bern's Steakhouse. We stayed at the Sheraton downtown which overlooked the Hillsborough river and the University of Tampa and its spires (which were unfortunately not lit up).

Bern's is a legendary steakhouse in Tampa (Wine Spectator Grand Award winner for every year they've handed out the award). The inside looks like a bordello, but that adds to the history and character of the place. We split a delicious porterhouse that was cooked just perfectly. We also had an amazing Bordeaux at an unbeatable price. This restaurant is a gem if you can focus on the steak and wine and overlook the rest of the food (bland French onion soup, julienned carrots of a questionable fragrance, uncooked soufflé).

Bern's is known for its extensive wine collection with 6,800 labels and 500,000 bottles (largest in the world?), and a tour through the wine cellar did not disappoint.

Only in Florida...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Lights

In the spirit of the holidays, I requested that our game night group take a field trip to visit Christmas lights decorations. We started out at the Clark County Museum, where the restored historical homes from the early 20th century were said to have Christmas decorations specific to the year of the house. We got there too late to go inside, but we were able to enjoy the houses from the outside in the snow. This picture looks like it was taken in the midwest rather than in Las Vegas.

We had more luck at Ethel's Chocolates, where their cactus garden is lit in Christmas lights throughout the holiday season.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Red Rock Snow

I opened my blinds this morning to see that the sun had come out and all of the mountains were covered in snow. As soon as I had a free minute, I drove over to Red Rock. The views were simply stunning. I'm not sure if I've ever seen anything so beautiful. The sun was making the snow glow, and bits of red were peeking out of the rocks. It was quite crowded with people taking pictures everywhere. Here are some of my favorites, plus a video. More pictures here.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Snow in Summerlin

Today we had a rare snowstorm in Las Vegas. The forecast was for 3 to 5 inches in the foothills, where I live. It started snowing at 8am and tapered off at about 4pm, with some heavy periods throughout the day. Although I prefer 70-degree weather and golf, I really do enjoy seeing snow once a year.

My street with my house in the foreground
Poor little palm tree View from my bedroom window

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

UNC Friends Run the Las Vegas Marathon

Stephanie and Lesha (with John for support) came to town to run the Las Vegas Marathon. Running a marathon is the last thing I'd ever want to do, but I was so proud of how hard these girls trained and the mental and physical challenges they overcame to not only finish all 26.2 miles, but to do it well-under their goal time.

I was able to steal John for a day and take him golfing at Siena, where the weather was much too perfect for December.

We even found time to dress up and hit the town, seeing Cirque du Soleil's and enjoying dinner at Wolfgang Puck's at the MGM Grand.