Our family went on a mini vacation the first weekend in October for a very special wedding. It was our close family friend Amanda’s wedding and her and Kyle chose Las Vegas as the destination. We’ve known the Meixel’s…basically forever….and we knew for sure they would throw a beyond amazing party. And that they did! I think they outdid themselves, and that’s saying a lot. Amanda and Kyle’s wedding will never be forgotten.
Kara, Cliff and I arrived late Friday night but the weekend-long celebration had started without us. Everyone stayed at the JW Marriott which is about 20 minutes away from the strip. It was a perfect location because it provided Amanda and Kyle with a beautiful setting for the ceremony and lots of space for the rest of the events. The hotel had beautiful, lush grounds. Friday there was a pool party during the day and a bachelor/bachelorette party at night. Since our flight didn’t get in until midnight we missed out on that part. But the shower was bright and early on Saturday. While the guys played golf the girls hung out at the spa section of the hotel for lunch, presents and games.
That night was the rehearsal dinner. Everyone was invited and Kyle’s family treated everyone to drinks, dinner and dessert.
Speaking of dessert. Has anyone heard of a pizookie? No?!? I’ll break it down for you. It’s a pizza-cookie topped with scoops of vanilla ice cream. If you’ve never had one I suggest you stop what you’re doing and go to BJ’s. Even if that means hopping a flight. I had my first pizookie with the Meixel’s a long time ago on one of our trips to California. I know it was at BJ’s, (I wish we had one in Chicago) but I can’t remember what city. I want to say Huntington Beach but your guess is as good as mine! This was back in the early 90′s…I told you we went way back! Anyways, I remember everything about that pizookie. It was heavenly. The cookie is fresh out of the oven and warm so the ice cream melts. Kara and I are going to recreate this on the blog and probably eat the whole thing ourselves. The one we had at the rehearsal dinner had 4 different kinds of cookie: chocolate chip, white chocolate macadamia, cookies and cream and red velvet. I may or may not have tried them all.
The next morning was the ceremony. We were to be there by 10:15 for champagne. I knew going into it everything would be planned to a T, but I wouldn’t have guessed that people would be walking around offering bottles of sunscreen. Not one thing was overlooked. The tables were decorated to perfection and everything was color coordinated to match their wedding colors, red and turquoise. The Lodge was fully equipped with pictures, guestbook, gorgeous 3-tier cake and bartenders.
The day was brutally hot. I think the temperature was about 95 degrees. Everyone used the decorative umbrellas to shield the sun. I think most people probably sweat right through their clothes! Or was that just me?
The bride walked down the aisle with her Dad, John and she looked stunning. The dress she chose was perfect for her and she wore her signature smile the whole time.
Amanda’s brother Scott married them. He got ordained and actually led the ceremony. He did an awesome job. It was obvious that he took his role seriously as he was completely prepared. It was a really nice touch because it made the wedding that much more personal.
Once the ceremony was over everyone ran for the Lodge to cool off. Lunch would be served outside but until then everyone stayed where it was cool. Also the bears game started right around this time so people crowded around the TVs to watch. Everyone got a Polaroid picture taken of themselves either alone or with their significant other. Then once we made it to the table we were to affix the picture and fill out a memory page for Amanda and Kyle.
After the wedding my family went out to a restaurant called Grimaldi’s. I guess it’s New York famous. Kara and Cliff saw it and insisted we eat dinner there. We got the classic pizza with fresh mozzarella, basil and tomato. And lucky for us they brought us out a 2nd pizza because they made it by accident. Not so lucky for my thighs. The pizza was good but not as good as Chicago. Sorry New York.
The whirlwind weekend was over so soon after it started. After an early morning “good-bye breakfast” we were on our way home. Kara and Cliff were staying on the strip for a few more days, but I had to work. Before heading to the airport we drove to Bellagio just to get in some tourist stuff, however short it was. We saw the fountains and had gelato. What’s vacation without gelato anyway?