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Spring Break, 2013

I’m willing myself back to blogging as it can sometimes be a daunting task.  For those that have ever ventured into the arena of writing, you know that motivation is largely the biggest reason that one places pen to paper (or in my case, fingers to keys).  The other major factor has to be time.  And while I seem to have a few minutes of the latter here and there, I’ve been severely lacking in the former for quite some time which has lead to very few posts on PablosPlace as a result.  But I remind myself of my yearly goals, one of which was to get a post onto here each week, and I press through my lack of motivation, and here I am.

When last I wrote, I talked about two topics, and left out a ton of details.  One detail of the past week that I want to revisit was a couple of times where I felt fantastic about being a husband and a father.  Traci and I took advantage of a couple nights stay at the Palazzo Hotel in Vegas, a gift she had received by being a member of the studio audience of the CBS Television Show “The Talk.”  She wrapped up the certificate this past Christmas for me to unveil, and we were finally able to make use of it while the kids had the week off for spring break, and they could all be taken care of.  So Traci and I spent a couple of great nights in Las Vegas, and we had a blast. 

The first night we arrived, we met a friend of mine that I’d made through the Twitter Poker Tour.  I’ve followed Steve Brogan and had many conversations with him through our blogs (he runs Dad’s Poker Blog), and through Twitter and the TPT forums.  I’ve always respected and admired Steve who was one of the original mainstays of the TPT during its hay day, but up until this past Monday night, we’d never met in person.  Steve was living in the New England region, and I had never really been that far or to that corner of the U.S. before, so it was virtually that we kindled our friendship.  When he saw that I was coming into town through one of my twitter posts, he’d asked to me meet both he and his wife for dinner, and I couldn’t say no.

Traci and I arrived at Steve and his wife Diane’s favorite little Chinese/Vietnamese restaurant in Las Vegas, a place I’d never heard of called Pho Kim Long located on Spring Mountain Drive.  Despite my many trips to Las Vegas, I’d never heard of the place, let alone ventured to it.  It was off the Strip by a couple blocks, and located in a clearly Asian themed area of the city, but we were simply excited to meet Steve and Diane for the meal.  The food was exceptional, the company even better, and I’m sad that the encounter had to end at some point.  It was fantastic to sit and to fellowship, and finally have the opportunity to meet in person.  We departed with the promises of “next time we’re in town, we need to do this again,” and I hope that it wasn’t just words, because I would enjoy our next rendezvous.  But it was a tremendous way to kick start our trip.

Traci and I returned to the hotel to see what we might be able to get done, but at 9:30pm on a Monday night, a show wasn’t really much of an option.  So we wandered up and down Las Vegas Blvd, stopping into the Bellagio to see the gardens as well as taking in some of the sights that are always amusing as you travel the Las Vegas Strip.  In the morning, we woke and headed out for breakfast, and then stopped into see a display of National Geographic’s 50 greatest Photographs of all time.  The display was as if it was a tiny picture museum, with each of the organizations prized photographs enlarged and mounted on the wall.  Below them was an explanation of how the photo came to be and the story behind it.  It was a truly unique and powerful exhibit, and one that I’d recommend to anyone that might happen into the Venetian hotel.  We spent a good hour or so pouring through all the photos and videos, and we came away very pleased that we stopped in.

For lunch, we met with Traci’s good friend from high school Melissa Barzekoff, her sister Deandra and her new 8 month old daughter.  We dined at the Grand Lux Café in the Palazzo, and we had a fantastic meal with a great number of laughs along the way.  The lunch spilled over to a longer visit as the girls all joined us up in our room for a little bit longer visit, until  an 8-month old did what an 8-month old does, declare that it’s time to go with cries of “find me a nap time somewhere.”  We said our goodbyes, and Traci and I dressed down to head to the pool and hangout for a while before our show.

At 7:30, we headed to the theatre to see “Rock of Ages.”  I didn’t have a clue as to what to expect from the show, having never heard of it prior to Traci winning the tickets.  The first act was rather dull, and I was sorely disappointed that we hadn’t purchased tickets to some other show, and scrapped the free tickets that we were given from the comp.  I remember leaning into Traci and saying that “this is really corny,” at some point during intermission, but we stuck it through and I’m glad that we did.  The second act was actually very enjoyable, and couldn’t have been made possible without the first act.  We exited the theatre happy that we came, and thoroughly enjoying the performance.  As we left without anything in mind, we made our was down the Strip again and stopped into the Dualing Piano bar at Harrah’s for a drink and to enjoy the festivities.   After which, we retired to our hotel room early, as we’d be heading out of town early in the morning.

The drive home was fun and quick, but we needed to pick up the children for our second show in as many nights.  We’d purchased seats for “Beauty and The Beast” at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood back in December for the kids for Christmas, and we were putting them to use that Wednesday night.  As we arrived home, the girls all showered and changed into their Theater outfits and I was again reminded of the fact that I am living with 5 women, and stunning women they are.  All dressed up, we took the gang over to the Claim Jumper near us for a meal, and followed that with a trip down to the theater.  The girls felt all grown up and were in a state of awe, having never really had that type of experience before.  It was a fantastic night out, and we returned home to simply just crash as we were exhausted from having been on the go for basically 3 straight days.   But it was packed full of fun and excitement and memories that will never be forgotten.

The days after were followed by going back to work, and life getting back to normal.  Traci and I are now scratching our heads as we’re trying to get this new jewelry business together.  It’s a tremendous opportunity for us, but we do need to sit down and carve out a business plan to see about making the thing actually work.  Because the way that we’re going about it now just isn’t producing any results.  That’s it for now.  In the next blog, I’ll chat a little about finally cutting the cord from Time Warner Cable, and making the switch back to AT&T.  And I’ll have a few more stories to recant and some future plans that we’ve got in mind.

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  1. Steve Brogan
    April 3rd, 2013 at 15:37 | #1

    Diane and I truly enjoyed our meetup and hope to do it again either here or there!

    • Paul Ellis
      April 3rd, 2013 at 15:43 | #2

      We did as well Steve. Looking forward to it :)

  2. April 3rd, 2013 at 16:05 | #3

    Life is too funny. We had such a good time with you and Traci at dinner, we didn’t want the evening to end. Steve and I thought you were meeting friends after dinner. We didn’t know it was the next day. We would have gone with you for more fun adventures had we known you were alone.

    Please know you, Traci and the girls are welcome to come visit us anytime. We have a humble home, but we do live in Las Vegas.

    Give all 5 of your beauties a hug for us.

    • Paul Ellis
      April 3rd, 2013 at 16:12 | #4

      Thanks Diane. That is funny. And don’t be too surprised when we take you up on that offer.

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