Snow!

February 16th, 2014

Thursday we went on a drive out of Vegas to find something you probably wouldn’t expect to see – snow! :o)

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There’s actually a ski resort if you’re feeling brave enough to face the single track road up the mountainside… But we decided we didn’t need to get all the way up! ;o)

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We were amused by this rather scary warning sign…

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Although the slope did look a little icy…

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And then we found the pile of destroy sledges…

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Suddenly the warning sign seemed serious!!

Unfortunately you’re not allowed to stop anywhere during the winter. All the picnic areas are closed, all the lay-bys declare it a tow away zone dec-mar and so we didn’t get to enjoy the snow where it was thicker and more inviting :o(

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There was a pretty place to stop before the snow, where you could take an awesome panorama shot :o)

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Food and Panda!

February 12th, 2014

Over the last few days I’ve been rather ill :o( So we haven’t done much other than eating as that’s about all that I have energy for :o(

Sunday we headed over to Gold Coast to try the dim sum lunch at Ping Pang Pong. Apparently everyone else had the same idea and the queue was long! So we decided to go to Noodle Exchange instead ;o) For $6.99 they do a lunch special with soup, spring roll, rice and a main you choose from a short list. It was all very tasty although Chris’ looked like shark infested custard! :o)

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The real reason I’d dragged myself out of bed was for Blizz :o) We walked over to Palms and filled cups with frozen yogurt and tasty toppings :o)

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That was me exhausted so we went back to the room and I read for much of the day.

For dinner we walked up to Planet Hollywood for the Spice Market Buffet – we had a groupon which included all you can drink alcohol! Chris’ Diamond card jumped us the long queue and sat in a special area :o) The food was tasty and they had a Mediterranean section which always makes me happy :o)

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We had rather a lot of Rose wine with dinner too ;o)

Monday we had rather a slow start so decided to go to the Aria lunch buffet as we’re not often hungry at lunch time! This was a MyVegas freebie which is good as it’s an expensive buffet! The food is all very good but it’s a bit cold in there and a large place which means it’s hard to get back to the table with hot food!

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The salad was good though and another Greek section with hummus :o) They also have a huge desert selection and although their bread pudding is too sweet, they have some very tasty mudslide cookies :o)

We stopped at Walgreens for some supplies. Big box tiny half full pot of pills…

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We decided to go to the Drive In to see the Lego Movie :o) It was a very sweet film with plenty of giggles and lots of fabulous Lego :o)

Then on Tuesday we started our day with brunch at Terribles. Where we shared a pastrami sandwich and a “sample platter” and discovered that here “sample” means huge piles of food! :o)

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We went over to Sam’s Town and did some gambling before heading down to Palazzo to see Panda!

The show was a little crazy ;o) There was a bit of odd audience interaction. No one seemed to understand when the panda was hunting for the map that we were supposed to help! There were giant panda balls to bounce over our heads too! Good distractions whilst they changed the stage around.

The panda suits were cute and the acrobatics were very impressive. Never seen such extreme Diablo before! :o)

The story was a little bizarre, not helped by the lead characters being played by different people to do the different acrobatics! But it was sweet and enjoyable :o)

We finished up the day by trying some non-Hooters wings! They were okay bit not as good ;o)

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Repeating Ourselves

February 10th, 2014

Saturday was a day of doing things we’ve done before! :o)

We started off at the Lion Ranch :o) This was our third trip here! The tiny day old cubs we saw last trip are now 17 weeks old :o)

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These three are now 7 months and were in a big sleepy heap! They did eventually wake up and play rough and tumble with each other and their mum :o)

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This is one of the 5 brothers and they’re starting to grow manes! Such cute shagginess! :o)

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The older lions are still cute too! :o)

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We’d walked round many times and figured we’d better go before I insisted on a cub interaction ;o) Not quite so cute when they’re this big – fed till they sleep then you to to sit next one and stroke. I wanted to play with them ;o)

We headed over to Sam’s Town for a cheap buffet and some gambling :o) Fun gambling with multiple 4 of a kinds showing up :o)

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Then it was over to Monte Carlo to see Blue Man Group :o) This is a different venue to last time and lots of different sketches. We had front row, right in the middle seats! :o) A little scary with all the audience interaction! Also a little sad we didn’t actually get covered in paint! But a fabulous show :o)

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Then we gave into temptation and bought Evil Dead tickets for later that night. So we had to find food to pass the time. We wound up in the cafe in Paris. Diamond card got us a fabulous table and we ordered burgers, which were huge!

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Then it was time for Evil Dead!! Yay!! :o) Apparently it doesn’t matter how many times we see it, I’m still super excited by going! :o) Greeter recognised us… Joked about it being our 23rd trip ;o) Sirc recognised us as we were being seated. Sat back in general admission which was very different!

Seeing Kolton play Scotty was great! Took a little getting used to all that filth coming from his mouth as he played such a sweet guy in the last show we saw him in! ;o)

The reason we had to go was for a cute little baby kangaroo! :o) Sirc had him on stage after the interval and we got to pet him and have a photo after the show :o)

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We also chatted to Sirc after the show, who was amazed to see us again ;o) He remembered us and offered us tickets to see the “new” show on the day we fly out! Gah! They’re adding extra shows upstairs in the small theatre and apparently it’s going to be really different up there. Can we really rearrange our flights for a show we’ve already seen 5 times?!? ;o)

Walking!

February 9th, 2014

Yesterday involved lots of walking!! :o)

We went on a mission involving carpets! The casinos here all have amazing carpets and there are a number I haven’t yet visited. So we left the Flamingo and headed down the strip towards the Stratosphere, stopping in casinos along the way!

Casino Royale has some fabulous (though rather dirty and faded!) carpet :o)

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The main reason for the expedition was to get down to the Wynn…

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And Encore…

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They both have awesome carpets! ;o) They also had some good Chinese New Year decorations up…

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As we were so far down already we decided to go to the Peppermill for lunch. This has been on our todo list since our first trip and somehow we kept failing! Today was the day we finally made it! :o) It has fabulous decor, all booths, neon lights and lamp shades with flamingos! Also HUGE portions of food! Thankfully I saw other peoples food come before we ordered so we decided to just share one sandwich along with the mixed starter!

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What a lot of food! :o)

Another first for me in Vegas, we then walked down to Sahara and caught the monorail! We rode it all the way from one end to the other, and then back to Flamingo where we actually wanted to get off ;o) It gave some good opportunities for photos of the High Roller from a new angle :o)

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We went back to the room for a bit of a rest before heading out for more walking! This time in the opposite direction to collect tickets for shows later in the trip :o)

We obviously needed big silly drinks to make the walking more fun ;o)

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Apparently extra brain freeze inducing when it’s cold outside too! We walked all the way up to Excalibur and back :o) By the time we returned our drinks were empty and our tummies too! So we attempted to buy pizza, which was apparently hard! I guess pepperoni, mushroom and pineapple is a little odd! We ended up with 2 and a quarter pizzas and it took 40 minutes! A quarter slice of random when they realised our order got lost. Then the Hawaiian they made accidentally instead of our order. Then finally our pizza! Craziness! :o)

Lake Las Vegas

February 8th, 2014

Thursday we went out to Lake Las Vegas. I’ve never been out there before and it’s a little bizarre seeing all that water and greenery and breathing fresh air! :o)

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We were there for a massage at the Westin hotel. Being February everywhere was rather deserted! There was no one else at the spa!

The massage was amazing! I’ve never had quite such a thorough one before. Seriously relaxed all the way from the top of my head to the tip of my toes! :o) Lovely! :o)

Obviously being in America the spa facilities were all separate, so we just got dressed and left. We had a wander round the hotel trying to find a way out to the lake and failing! So we walked down to it from the car park :o)

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Apparently bridges need a warning notice… :o)

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If it wasn’t so out of season we could have had a play with the water activities, but there was no one around!

We were rather hungry by this point so using the power of our coupons app we found the nearest food voucher we had. Two for one buffet at Green Valley Ranch. Not somewhere we’ve ever been before!

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The buffet was good! Lots of yummy salad and some awesome bread pudding :o)

We did a little shopping after lunch as we’d noticed a Williams Sonoma which is a fabulous kitchen gadgetry shop. We had fun playing “guess what it’s for” on the unlabeled items ;o)

We found a Michaels too for some craft shopping. Apparently Rainbow Loom is still the big craze as you can’t use discount vouchers on them! I got some purple bands and some Inkadinkado stamps (ordered the “gear” on amazon as it was much cheaper!)

We had early dinner reservations at Alizé so we went back to Flamingo to get changed. Alizé is at the top of one of the Palms towers and has an amazing view! :o)

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The food was pretty amazing too! :o) I honestly can’t remember what much of it was called ;o) I had French onion soup to start, then “the chicken” followed by a chocolate soufflé :o)

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Chris had the foie gras, followed by beef and finished with a chocolate soufflé too :o)

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We enjoyed the food arriving covered and then an actual voila as they revealed them together. Then a quick explanation of what everything was before we tucked in :o) The waiters were attentive without being annoying. All in all, great meal with a great view :o)

The High Roller Wheel

February 6th, 2014

Today when we woke up at 5 am and opened the curtains something very exciting was happening… The lights on the High Roller wheel were on! :o)

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The wheel is looking a whole lot more impressive than our last visit. It now has all the pods on the ring and apparently lights too! We watched the sun rise behind the wheel :o)

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We went off and spent the day doing the usual things. Eating cheap food and gambling :o) Chris has a shiny new players card for The D and a funky King card at the Plaza :o)

When we returned the wheel was all lit up again, and now making patterns! :o)

I can’t seem to upload my video here so you’ll just have to watch on Facebook :o)

The wheel is still making pretty patterns. All sorts of different colours and timings :o) They’ve rotated it enough to hide the broken section behind a building too ;o)

Travelling

February 4th, 2014

Obviously the first step on a Vegas holiday is getting here! :o)

We started on Sunday evening driving down to London to stay in a hotel for the night. In the morning we dyed my hair for the holiday :o)

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We skipped the breakfast option at the hotel as they wanted £17 each for a continental breakfast! Crazy! We also skipped their bus to the airport which was £4 each in favour of the free bus from over the road! ;o)

The checkin process and security were very easy. Friendly staff and fast :o)

Time for some food at Giraffe. Very tasty :o)

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We did a little work before a crazy dash across the airport for the flight! We weren’t last but we weren’t far off! It was so far to the gate!

The flight was good. Tasty food, friendly staff, good entertainment :o) we managed to set up the iPad so we could both see to watch Prison Break together :o) I did lots of crochet :o)

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We landed into LA just after 6pm and the customs line was very long! It was gone 8 by the time we were through, had our bags and got into a car!

We didn’t have far to go to get to our hotel for the night, but it was rather awkward and took multiple attempts to find the entrance to the car park!

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We grabbed a bag of Cheetos and a water from the vending machines and collapsed into bed for a few hours :o)

It was before 5 when we got up, packed and started the drive to Vegas :o) We grabbed a donut and smoothie from a 7 Eleven and then drove through far too much traffic for that early in the morning!

We stopped for breakfast in Summit Valley at a McDonalds before we ran out of civilisation ;o)

The drive was easy and we stopped in Baker for jerky and, randomly, puzzle books! For research into US publishers :o)

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Arrived in Vegas and got checked into the Flamingo! We had a little wander round the Linq whilst waiting for our room and found a giant flamingo!

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Once we’d unpacked it was time for the obligatory first trip to Hooters for wings :o)

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We spent the afternoon hunting for a bank account and eventually got one! POWGI now has a US bank account! Yay! :o)

Vegas – More Gambling & Drive In

October 11th, 2013

Wednesday is buffet earning day at Sam’s Town! We had a bit of a late start but then played enough to earn 2 free anytime buffet passes each. We made use of the first one each with a tasty brunch :)

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We did a little work and then decided we wanted to go to the Drive In. We headed over to Popcorn Girl for some scrummy snacks and stopped by a Michaels where I picked up a Rainbow Loom. This is a fabulous new craze which let’s you make bracelets from brightly coloured rubber bands!

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At the Drive In we saw Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 which was very funny :) In bizarre news – it rained! We had to use our wipers to see! No fair!!

Thursday is movie tickets day at Sam’s Town so we earnt one of those each before checking out. Then over to the Orleans with our bags. The room is down an infinite corridor! Right at the end!

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We spent most of the day at Palms playing for another $25 gift card and getting Chris up to the next card colour :) Amazingly, I had my second ever Royal Flush!!

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For dinner we introduced Colette to Hash House with their crazy portion sizes! :) I had the chicken pot pie which had lots of veggies :)

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After dinner we headed over to Ballys to watch Veroniques Voices. It was an okay show, when I knew the songs, but I’m glad the tickets were free ;)

Vegas – Finally Buffets & Gambling!

October 9th, 2013

After the excitement of the wedding I’m not sure the rest of my blog posts can possibly compete!

Yesterday I spent most of the morning getting the wedding post finished. The internet was slowing me down!

We started the day with a buffet at the Gold Coast – amazingly our first buffet of the trip so far!

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Getting the post finished got us kicked out of the buffet, then roasted on a bench in the sunshine, and then finished whilst sat on the cold car park stairs! Now that’s dedication ;)

Once done we finally gambled! Turned Chris’ free slot play into a win and then got free blankets at Orleans :)

We stopped to watch the planes at the airport whilst eating a sandwich and waiting for Colette to arrive and then dropped her at the Quad. This was followed by a drive down the strip to admire the neon :)

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We finished the day with food delivered by rollerskate at Sonic :)

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Today we had to check out of Rio and into Sams Town. I’ve never stayed here before – it’s quite out of the way but a nice place :) We tried to play for a free buffet but then discovered it was the wrong day! So we went to TGI Fridays instead.

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Very tasty spaghetti and meatballs from the specials menu outside the restaurant – so special the waitress had never known anyone order from it before!

We spent a lot of the day playing at Palms to earn a $25 gift card. Just as we were about to stop, this happened…

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My first ever Royal Flush! Woo! :D

We celebrated with Panda Express and Blizz :)

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Then it was off to MGM to watch Ka, a Cirque show. We had awesome seats to watch the amazing acrobatics :) I loved it! Particularly the spinning wheels combined with skipping ropes! Craziness! :)

Our Crazy Vegas Wedding

October 7th, 2013

— Background —

This trip to Vegas was supposed to involve the planning for our wedding next year with close friends and family. As the trip approached it became clear that some of our guests-to-be weren’t quite as excited by the location as we were. So we decided to just go for it whilst we were here. For reasons that will become apparent towards the end of this post, the date had to be October 5th, and having arrived in Vegas on the 3rd, this gave us 48 hours to plan and have a wedding! :D

— The Preparation —

The evening of the 3rd we headed over to the Marriage License Bureau and filled out the required forms in the pencils provided – I’ve never signed an official looking document in pencil before! There was no queue, so we wandered up to a window, corrected our misunderstanding of their form, and in exchange for $60 we had the legal documentation required – it really is as easy as the movies make out! :)

We also booked Luv Bug Weddings to perform the ceremony at 7:30pm on the 5th, though we had no idea where! They’re a mobile company who come to you, to any public place!

First thing on Thursday we headed out to scout out locations – it was very early so the neon was still lit :) We had a quick trip to Frys to buy a camera with tripod so we stood some chance of taking photos. Then it was off to charity shops and pawn brokers hunting for clothes and rings. After a bit of a stressful day (apparently the only dresses left anywhere were in single digit sizes! Ugh!) we went to the outlet mall. Chris found an awesome suit pretty quickly and so it was time to find me something to wear. We headed over to David’s Bridal as I knew they would sell me a dress I could take away then and there and had the fun experience of trying on dresses in a proper shop! It was amusing as they tried to up sell us to a much more expensive dress, but we both preferred the cheap one, which was lucky knowing what was to come! ;)

Then a trip to the pawn shop over the road found me a lovely ring which actually fit! :) Suddenly a little worry as Chris had no ring and shops were closing! We headed over to Hard Rock to their 24 hour jeweller and found him a ring too! Now we had everything we needed for the big day! :)

— The Big Day —

I barely slept thanks to jet lag and excitement so we had a fairly early start. We got all dressed up and headed out to our first photo spot of the day! :)

Where else could we start but the Welcome to Las Vegas sign? At this point we posted photos up to Facebook and let the world know what was going on :)

Next we drove out to the Valley of Fire for some nature shots. It’s a beautiful place and I hope we can go back when I’m dressed in something more suitable for clambering and exploring!

We spent a lot of the day at the mercy of very kind strangers – whilst we had a tripod for our little camera, most of the good photos came from when it was in someones hands! We’d often be busy trying to set up a shot when some kind soul would wander over and offer to take some for us :)

We could have spent hours there, it’s so pretty! :) However, we had many more ideas for photos, so we jumped back in the car and drove back to Vegas. Time to get downtown for one of our favourite spots – the dice mural.

This one was a bit more challenging as the sun was so very bright! We lingered so long trying things out that we had 3 different people help! :)

We also stopped to grab a photo with the downtown cowboy :)

Somehow, it was already getting late and we didn’t yet have our show tickets for the evening. So it was back to the strip for more photos on the way to the box office. We stopped in the Bellagio Conservatory for their lovely fall display of giant pumpkins and had more help with photos :)

Whilst waiting to cross the strip and playing with selfies, another friendly couple offered to take a photo! :)

It was amazing how lovely everyone is when you’re in wedding clothes! Everyone smiles and congratulates you! Many confused faces when we explained we weren’t married yet but would be in a few short hours! :)

We collected our tickets from the box office and found ourselves in a hat shop which quickly led to Chris having a fab new hat! :) It was almost time for dinner so we played some slots for a bit mostly so we could take these photos! :)

Dinner was at the Eiffel Tower restaurant – a 5pm booking to guarantee us a window table :) It’s an amazing view of the Bellagio fountains from up there! We treated ourselves to a glass of champagne to celebrate the day.

Then we had a wonderful meal! I had the pork chop, whilst Chris has the rack of lamb, sharing some creamed spinach and mushrooms.

Whilst waiting for dessert this fabulous chocolate mousse appeared with the explanation of it being a French tradition for newly weds to share a chocolate mousse and that it was probably okay a few hours early ;)

Dessert was souffle! Neither of us had ever had one before and they were awesome! So light and fluffy and yummy :) I had chocolate (of course!) and Chris has the pistachio. Both very tasty! :)

We had a little while before we needed to meet Tim & Pam for the ceremony, so we loitered by the Bellagio fountains trying to get photos. It’s amazingly hard to get the lighting right, and when they’re running no one offers to help. We did have one lovely girl manage to take a nice one :)

Then whilst the fountains were running we managed a sweet silhouette :)

— The Ceremony —

The time had finally come and we met Tim & Pam outside Caesars Palace. They walked us over to the spot they use by the fountains for the ceremonies and it was lovely – quiet and peaceful compared to the bustle of everywhere around!

The ceremony was great – short but sweet. Tim said a lot of words which I can’t remember, then we said our I do’s, a vow together, and exchanged rings. Then we were married! :)

Pam led us round to take a few photos whilst Tim filled out the paperwork.

After the excitement of the day we collapsed back in our hotel room for a couple of hours before our show :)

— Evil Dead The Musical – Splatter Zone —

Yes, you did read that heading correctly ;) The reason we had to get married today was because we had already booked splatter zone tickets for Evil Dead tonight! :D Better yet, we got front row seats! It’s rather a different experience in the Splatter zone and we seemed to be in the minority with knowing all the words ;)

What happens when you turn up to Evil Dead in your wedding dress, sit in the Splatter Zone, and refuse to wear their t-shirts? This happens! ;)

Until this, and the live chat with Sirc, I don’t think anyone believed we really got married today! Certainly no one believed we were wearing our real wedding outfits! :D

It’s not like we were ever going to wear them again – right? ;)

— Epilogue —

The wedding story doesn’t end quite yet. Our “blood” stained clothes couldn’t come home with us, and throwing them away just didn’t feel right. So we took them out into the desert and buried them!

One day, maybe in the far distant future, someone might find them and wonder what on earth happened! ;)  Until then, only we know the location of our wedding clothes! :)