Family Love

 Friday, August 24, 2012

My family came for a visit! They drove from Texas to hang out for a few days. Here's an update of the Fakkel Family Fun time:

Tuesday night we made fajitas and watched this amazing movie.
The Blind Side Movie
Wednesday night we had a BBQ with our best friends Than & Ixchel & baby Rex. Swimming in the pool was so fun at night when it's not 56464 degrees. Fresh watermelon & pineapple for a delicious summer dessert.

Thursday night we went to the drive-in movies for a FREE movie night! We saw these two movies for free & snacked on white cheddar popcorn, candy, & nachos. 
Friday we took a mini tour of the Cerrata's Candy Company (chocolate factory) in downtown Glendale. Of course we left the factory with some goodies. 
We also walked around downtown browsing the cute shops and exploring Mad Hatter's Antiques & Collectibles.
We took my family to Thee Pitts Again bbq restaurant from the show Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives. They loved it just as much as we did! 
After dinner we ate Bluebell chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream with brownies & watched this movie.

Thank you so much yall for a wonderful week! We love you so much! 


Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na.... BATMAN!

 Sunday, August 19, 2012

We finally saw The Dark Knight Rises last night! We of course loved it. The only thing we disliked about it...too much violence. I was scared during some parts! I feel bad for the little kid in front of us watching it with his parents. He'll probably have nightmares. I'm surprised I didn't... 
We love the Batman movies & we're excited for the next one. We're also excited for Man of Steel, the new Superman movie to come out too. 
We also enjoyed a romantic dinner at Macaroni Grill...I haven't felt like going there for a long while which is weird because I LOVE Italian food, but I was definitely craving some of their chicken fettuccine alfredo last night. It was a great night with The Hubbs.
Love how you can doodle on the tablecloths there. 
My cursive & James' Korean writing.


My First Verve Dance Residency

Here was my week this past week: Dance Residency & work & a date w/ James on Saturday.
Definition of dance residency for Verve dance company: A guest artist dance residency is when guest artists come from out of town to teach classes and set choreography on the VERVE dancers. This all happens in one week: dancers learn the work, you clean the work, you work on artistry, staging and performance. This is an incredibly intensive week and all dancers must be at the residency during the entirety of the week. 
We had the opportunity to learn from guest artist Emily Schoen from Keigwin & Co. from NYC. The schedule for this past week: Monday through Friday, free master class for anyone 10-11, then Verve rehearsal from 11-3:30. 
I got so many bruises & scrapes & floor burns. I was sore for days. We learned a 6 1/2 minute long dance. 
My dance partner Dominique aka Dom for short!

Brian, Stella, Marbe, Sara, Mary, Alexus, Emily Schoen, Janey, Me, Alainia, Johnny, Urian, Kayley, Celia, Alejandra, Amanda, Alexa, Amy, Denise, & Dominique.
After dance rehearsal each day, I would rush to work, sweaty & exhausted, to work for 2 hours at the bank, then go home. It was a nightmare driving 16.1 miles in traffic with only 30 minutes to get to work on time. Every day for 5 days. Saturday I worked 8:30 to 2:30 and then James & I had a special celebration date.
Read about that in my next post :)
Yay for Verve Dance Co!


Viva Las Vegas!

Last weekend we went to Vegas for a mini vaca before the craziness of school starts back up. 
James picked me up from work at 1:00 on Thursday & we drove straight to Las Vegas arriving around 5:00. 
Happy to be on the road!
Only in Arizona.
We stopped just outside of downtown Las Vegas for a bite to eat at a place called Bachi Burger featured on the TV show Diners Drive-Ins & Dives. The restaurant was very modern with an Asian chic-ness to it. Bachi Burger has a unique take on the classic hamburger utilizing Asian inspired flavors and ingredients. James & I LOVED our burgers. The chefs use a Japanese method of grilling the burgers & they were oh so juicy & delish.
James with his Kalbi Burger.
Angus Beef, Kalbi marinade, green onions,  house made Kim Chee, Ko Chu Jang Mayo.
It's Korean. Need I say more?
I had the Spicy Miso Burger.
Angus Beef,  Shishito Pepper, Mayo, Lettuce,  Roasted Garlic, Cheese, Fried Egg,  Apple Vinaigrette.
I loved the sauce on this & of course the egg & cheese. I also loved the freshly baked Taiwanese Style
Sweet Bread Bun.
We also shared some Salt & Pepper Garlic French Fries.

We would definitely recommend this place & we hope to go back someday! 
We arrived at our hotel after dinner and made our way up to the 21st floor. Where did we stay you may ask? What building has 113 floors? The Stratosphere!
We went all the way to the top of the tower (113 floors) to check out the view of the city as the sun was setting. The outside observation deck was closed because there was a bunch of lightning in the sky. Because we hotel guests we knew we could come back the next night for free & hopefully there wouldn't be any lightning. 

We drove to the Bellagio to catch a glimpse of the fountains & took some pictures on the way. (We watched the fountain show again on Saturday)
Mini Eiffel Tower!

The next day we slept in (glorious!) & shared a breakfast platter at Roxy's Diner in the hotel. 

Next on the agenda? Relaxing by the pool.
Or rather, burning up at the pool.
It was so hot outside. 
After about an hour, we got ready to hit up the Bellagio buffet. The only way to go for this expensive meal is to wait in line at about 2:45, get in before 3:30, pay for lunch (still $20 each), then wait 30 mins while they change all the lunch food over to dinner food exactly at 4:00. Enjoy the dinner spread for half the cost! Also, it is only worth it to go if you really love King crab, Kobe Beef, & shrimp.
King Crab legs, Kobe Beef, & Lamb
I am always trying new seafood to see if I like it. I like King Crab but don't love it. I also tried a California roll to prepare me to try sushi one day, and I despised the California roll. Raw fish looking good in my future? No thanks.
Chocolate covered strawberries & ice cream.
After we feasted on many different kinds of foods,  we went back to our hotel to get ready for the highlight of our trip....

♫ The Phaaaaaaaantom of the Opera is heeeeerrrrreee  
My favorite ever. James is also a fan :)
The show gave us goosebumps. We LOVED it! 
The Venetian theater was designed especially for this show & the show has been running in Vegas for about 7 years. 
The theater, located in The Venetian hotel/casino, cost more than $40 million to make. The chandelier was beautiful.
We were lucky enough to enjoy seats in the SIXTH row before the show ends in September. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.
We loved the music, loved the chandelier, the fog, the candles, the labyrinth scene, EVERYTHING. 
I've seen Phantom before in Dallas with my mom, but this was James' first time seeing a Broadway show. I think he & I will see Phantom many times in our life together. 
Isn't this "I love Phantom" design I found online cute?
After the show we got some ice cream...
Still so amazed by Phantom & super excited for ice cream
Yes the double scoop cone is bigger than my face.
Cookies n Cream & Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough for both of us.
Afterwards we went back up to the observation deck of the Stratosphere Tower to ooh & ahh over the city lights.
It was a very romantic night.
Then next day we walked the Strip...the whole day! We parked our car at the Bellagio, then walked down to Caesar's Palace & The Mirage, then crossed the street to see The Venetian, Flamingo, Paris, & MGM Grand. Then crossed the street again to New York New York, Aria, & the Bellagio to watch the fountains again. We made a few stops along the way as well.
The sign.
Caesar's Palace.
Replica of David.
Another statue.
We both loved the architecture & decor of Caesar's Palace
Jessica Simpson + lots of candy
The Venetian & the gondola rides.
Beautiful inside!
Starving so we ate at the food court at Shake n Burger
because it was the cheapest & James loves his burgers.
Haha gotta love him
Ridiculously overpriced at B&J's
Flamingos at the Flamingo Resort.
I love Flamingos because they turn pink from the food they eat. 
Taking a walking break & relaxing in the Paris hotel.
Doesn't it look like the streets of Paris? Haha
HUGE ice cream cone at The Sugar Factory.
Love the girl in the background trying to lick the cone haha.
Ice cream & chocolate bars at the bottom. Wish this was real.
The M&M's World!
Love the green lady m&m.
Love him & love M&Ms!
The M&M race car.
Vegas Baby!
Cloudy with a chance of M&M's
Mini Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty Jelly Bellies.
Inside New York/New York.
Favorite statue...dancing!

Waiting for the fountain show to begin!
Beautiful & romantic fountain show. The song was the romantic Italian opera song!
Wish we were at the real place...

After a long & exhausting day on the strip, it started to rain so we picked up some pizza from Pizza Hut & cuddled in our new hotel (we moved to the Hilton Garden Inn & Suites for the last night to save money). The next morning we went to breakfast at the highly recommended Hash House A Go Go.
Sunday morning breakfast at Hash House A Go Go
Handsome Hubby had a farm scramble
I had the Tractor Driver Combo 
eggs, bacon, & french toast dipped in banana cinnamon cream  w/ pecan maple syrup.
artichokes in the scramble, a fancy biscuit, & crispy potatoes.
We 100% recommend this place. HUGE portions, scrumptious food, and affordable.
After breakfast we found a ward to attend for sacrament meeting.
We are so grateful that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the same everywhere in the world. I'm so glad we went to church on vacation. Thank you Green Valley ward in Henderson, NV! It brought the Spirit into our trip as we drove home after the meeting. We enjoyed our mini vacation to Las Vegas & especially loved the time we spent together as the summer comes to an end! 


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