“Sunsets and Neon Lights…”

The view from my hotel room!

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone! It’s great to be back on the East Coast!

… Just kidding. It’s been an icy, snowy, freezing cold mess since I landed back home in Boston on Tuesday night- and all I want to do is just return to Nevada and bask in the sunshine and perfect temperatures again. 72 degrees and not a cloud in the sky in early February? Yeah- sign me up for that. I’ll take ten of those.

Actually, I have every intention of packing up and moving out to good ol’ Henderson, Nevada¬†(just 20-30 minutes away from the bright lights and the excitement of the Strip) as early as this Fall if circumstances permit- so I figure I just have to tough it out for a few more weeks until Spring gets here, and then hold on tight through the Summer. I’ve already been re-evaluating my budget and actively researching real estate in the area- and looking at some pretty promising prospects!- so I’m not left rushing through any life-changing decisions at the last possible minute come September/October.

But I digress! This most recent trip was purely for fun and to get away from the snow and the sleet for a few days. I only had a couple of things on my itinerary- leaving the rest up to fate. The most important thing was spending time with my West Coast Wife, Kelsey- who I hadn’t seen in a couple of years. She’s wonderful and amazing and gorgeous- and she has the sweetest husband and the cutest baby girl I’ve ever seen in my life. It was an absolute joy to spend so much time with them all this past weekend. I miss them tons already.

Kelsey and I first met through The Killers, so it was only fitting we went to their hometown show at MGM Grand together this past Saturday night as their ‘Wonderful Wonderful’ U.S. tour was coming to an end. The guys knocked it out of the park as usual- even throwing in a really fun cover of “Viva Las Vegas” and mixing up the setlist a bit for the occasion.

I’m still in awe of their stage setup- and having been a few whiskey sours in by the time the show wrapped up- I’m pretty sure I gushed to my friend Steven about how much I loved it in excess. He’s brilliant- and both sober me and inebriated me feels it’s necessary to tell him once in a while!

The boys are back in Boston for our Boston Calling Festival in May- and I can’t wait!

During this most recent stay, I hung my hat at The Cosmopolitan– which offered the best view I’ve ever had of the Vegas strip (my room overlooked the Bellagio fountain!) as well as plenty of unique and incredible dining options. I didn’t have to venture too far to eat well and affordably. Breakfasts were typically at Eggslut, while post-drink carbs could be found- with a little searching- at the secret pizza place hidden within the hotel.

At one point during the weekend, Kelsey and I headed to one of my favorite neon and gaudy restaurants/lounges- Peppermill– where I had the greatest biscuits and gravy I’ve ever tasted and a mimosa that was strong enough to almost take the sting out of the Patriots’ Super Bowl loss later on that night.

I never went hungry- or broke!

Peppermill!

I spent some of my downtime during my stay perusing and people-watching on the Strip- and I gambled a little- although I admittedly didn’t win anything. A lot of the casinos had Chinese New Year themed decorations everywhere- and since the impending holiday marks the Year of The Dog- I was all about the adorable stuffed dogs and statues of canines they had in lobbies and throughout the hallways of places like The Venetian, The Bellagio, and Caesar’s Palace.

I bet the actual celebration in the city is insanely fun. I wish I could have been there for it!

Overall, I had an amazing time- and this trip really gave me something to look forward to when it comes to relocating. It was great catching up with old friends, seeing one of my favorite bands in their element, being able to actually relax and have fun while simultaneously enjoying some decent drinks and delicious food- and being nice and warm throughout the day (and even after the sun had set!)

I’d love to head out to the area again sooner rather than later- even if it’s just to look at some apartments or houses up close!

Enjoy your weekend, everyone. I’ve got to get some work done at my office- and the regular posting schedule will be back up next week!

xx

– Ashley –

Wonderful, Wonderful…

Have you ever had a weekend that was so action-packed and busy that you needed a full week to recover from it, and before you knew it- it was the weekend again? Well, if not- let me tell you about last Saturday and Sunday.

In the midst of sub-zero temperatures, a group of friends and I had been planning a night out on Saturday to celebrate Sean’s birthday in style. Sean had mentioned wanting to have a big dinner at a local Japanese restaurant¬†(weather permitting)– but with a wind chill advisory in effect and more than one person experiencing car problems when the negative temperatures started affecting their engines/car electronics/sensors- we made do with a board game and pizza night at the apartment in Melrose where everyone could stuff their faces without reservations or judgment and stay warm.

A few slices (and buffalo wings, of course) and a round or two of FLUXX and ‘Code Word’ later- and it was time for coconut cake and singing for Sean with some trick candles that almost made him lose his breath trying to blow them out. Although he won’t own up to his age- I know the truth- and I’m really glad that his night was so special and laid-back. He earned it.

On Sunday, after running some errands- I headed down to TD Garden with my friend Kayla from work to have a few drinks, catch up with a friend of mine from Ireland who was in town working for the night, and see The Killers- who were passing through town for their North American leg of the “Wonderful Wonderful” tour. The show was Kayla’s first time seeing the band- and my 274th (okay, maybe not that exact number- but I have seen those lovely and talented boys from Vegas quite a few times over the last 14 years!)

The set and the visuals during the show were unreal- maybe some of the most elaborate, technical, stunning effects I’d ever seen during any of their concerts. My photos simply don’t do it justice. It was awe-inspiring- and I was thrilled that Kayla got to experience it for the first time when everything looked and sounded so good.

They played new favorites from the latest album and bangers from their previous work- as well as a cover of The Cars’ “Just What I Needed”¬†(as a tribute to Boston!) It was a pretty perfect set from start to finish- made even more memorable by all the confetti and sparklers peppered throughout some of the songs. I had an amazing, unforgettable time- and it definitely ranks up there with one of the Top 10 performances I’ve seen by the guys over the years.

If The Killers are coming to your town during this tour, I highly recommend dropping in to catch their show. You won’t regret it. It’s phenomenal- and so much fun!

Both Kayla and myself got home post-show pretty late, and I’ve been trying to play catch-up on my sleep schedule for the better part of a week while juggling work- so it’s been a very interesting few days, for sure.

I’m looking forward to this weekend- where I will undoubtedly sleep late and start packing for my upcoming trip to San Diego.

Enjoy your Friday, everyone!

xx

– Ashley –