Las Vegas and back to Los Angeles

4 am start OMG! I got back to the room at 2am!

I quietly shower and pack up and kiss Phil goodbye-he doesn’t even stir-just a mumble.

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Head to the airport, a 10 min drive by taxi.

The security over here is rigid, but I still wonder how good it is really, while I’m standing in long queues observing. The security appears to be robotic and slow, if someone did really want to get some weapon or fluid for a bomb on board; I think it would be easily enough done.

For such a large airport the queues can be 40-50 mins long, you don’t want to be running late for a flight.

In Vegas just when you think you’re there….you have a train to catch, to get to your departure lounge. That said, I made it! Though now the lack of sleep and a slight hangover are starting to become obvious to me, I even have the shakes.

The plane ride couldn’t come quick enough; I just needed to close my eyes and sleep.

Quick flight to LAX 45mins. Now the 2.5 hours to wait for the kids to arrive, I’m looking forward to seeing them even though it’s only been a few days, its feels ages. Rhys Darby walked past, I said Hi! He ignored me. Oh well 😉

The arrival gate was shared with Air China and Canada it seemed to take forever for the kids to appear, but when they did it was a sigh of relief to see their happy faces, they looked as happy to to see me as I was to see them. Found our organised transport “Prime shuttle”, perfect! Straight outside our terminal and dropped us off via Venice Beach, then to our Hotel in Santa Monica.

A quaint little hotel, one of the first I’d say. 1 block from the Santa Monica Pier and next to the famous “Ivy” restaurant where all the celebs dine.

The weather was sunny and mild-though not hot. Season is moving from Winter to Spring.

This is kinda where the ‘best laid plans kinda started going astray’.

The concierge at Hotel Carmel kindly offered to phone through and confirm a tour I had prebooked and paid for the kids (Great idea at the time!!)

The guy wouldn’t accept saying ‘no’ so I got on the phone and said “yes” he said “no” ,I said yes and then stated in my DON’T PISS ME OFF voice…..polite but stern, my displeasure in they treatment of me as a customer. They said OK and confirmed a 4.45 pick up,finally!! After a 10 min phone call!

Off we went to the pier, Santa Monica is gorgeous!

The kids pass a comment “how American every thing looks” I had to laugh.

Just like on TV I guess? Baywatch comes to mind, although its not warm enough to swim there are a few people sun bathing. Its nice as its not to crowded, I think on a hot summers day this place would be madness!

We wandered, taking photos, stopping taking photos for others

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Soaking up the light sea breeze and atmosphere on the pier, it has a fun park feel to it.

The kids got a charactchur done of themselves

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We had a ride on the Ferris wheel that features in so many movies and tv show landscapes.

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A few hours spent and we head past Ivy restaurant , trying to peer in to see if we can spot someone rich and famous, and then look at the numerous shops for some of the things the kids want.

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The Ivy restaurant

Tali gets a ltd edition Kobe hood and Luc gets his Purple ‘beats’ from the apple store. This was a whole new experience in its self! With a new modern approach, a huge warehouse looking room with teams around large dining room sized polished concrete tables, helping customers for support or to purchase. No cash registers in sight. They put Luc’s sale through on the sales girls’ cell phone as she was with us, whipped a cool Apple bag out of her pocket, and emailed the receipt to me! WOW!

I can’t quite describe it, we were very intrigued by it all. Not a shopping fan, even I have to agree the shops in Santa Monica have a wow factor, maybe because its where the celebs like to hang out. Great displays, great products an open mall like the old Hawera one…which I find so much nicer then the indoor ones we are used to now. It was so clean and pristine too.

In hindsight we wish we had stayed looking around instead of heading back to hotel for our 4.45pm pick up.

But we did…..:(

We were there waiting at 4.40pm in our lobby, waited till 5, then I decided to call and check on their status (I understand they can run late) or if infact they were even intending on picking us up??

No they weren’t running late we were and boy oh boy did the guy give it to me on the phone.

Told me they waited from 4.25 till 4.35 WTF!! Noway!

Anyway they came back to pick us up.

5.20pm by this time. The grumpy old Hispanic man, yelled at me and told me off in his big bus, in front of the kids. Thankful we were the only passengers. I told him in no uncertain terms back what time they had confirmed and also tried to show him the booking itinerary.

He told me “to shut up! And sit down! “(Exactly his words!)

WTF I had steam coming out my ears!!!!!!

The kids and I were knackered, my 2 o’clocker and early start was getting the better of me. The kids hadn’t slept much on their flight either. So they slept as I fought my weariness off to keep my eyes on what the hell was going on.

This little old man had the devil in him and us in his 30 seater bus. He had us going down some of LA’s back streets, good and bad. I now know he was trying to rendezvous with the rest of the tour before it left the main depot.

But at the time I had no idea what the hell was going on, all I could hear over the c.b radio was all Spanish!  The kids waking at different times as we lurched to fast tops and starts, over curbs and got to see a lot more of LA then they bargained for.

We arrived at their terminal, which made me feel better, it was at least legit ( I was having my suspicions ), we got transferred to another van.

After 7 by this time! We were still to head into Hollywood (we had missed the tour) the van was to take us to meet them.

It was Valentines night and every bastard was out it seemed! Roses and Balloon’s everywhere, but so was all the traffic!

A few roads closed due to the Oscars being held next week as well didn’t help.

The Oscars are huge over here, they close roads a few weeks before for building of structures and bridges for the paparazzi, its also a security reasons and decorative stuff.

We finally made it to Hollywood Boulevard only to be told “ you have a look around and meet outside Shellys at 8.30” by our none Engliese speaking Espananic man (we couldn’t catch up with the other bus , so missed Universal Studios. No loss, now we’ve done the tour ,I know we proberly didn’t miss a thing!).



So the kids and I lost in Hollywood… night!! Far Out!!!!

Hollywood at night is completely different during the day. There are weirdos and fruitloops everywhere!! Though talking to a couple I sat next to on a later flight, they said its bad enough in daylight –he is a delivery guy and sees lots!)

We were starving and tired but managed to walk the stars and take some pics to say “we been there” and then went to find Shellys diner , we did NOT want to miss this bus!!

It was while we were there standing waitng that was worse then walking around. I’ve been to some places and seen some shit, but even I was a little weary-perhaps because I had the kids with me and could sense their fear. We had all sorts stop and talk and solicit. Some quite intimidating.

The bus finally there, we jumped on for our lives, Well that’s what it felt like at the time.

The driver an old black American with a heart of gold but man he talked some shit! Lol

It was only 5 mins into our tour and bus trip with him and I realised this guy was as nutty as some of them on the boulevard – In a nice way though.

Definitely a character! He has 8 kids and while we were driving around we heard about them, he also would take calls and talk in a loud enough voice the whole bus could over hear. If I was describing a business mogul in the film industry yelling down the ph wanting contracts done yesterday! That was what our driver sounded like lol…please! He’s an effing tour bus driver haha, but it made him feel important I guess.

We went to Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, saw where the rich and famous dine, party and shop-all awesome!

When celebs pulled up next to us we had to pull back at lights etc or the tour buses can get fines , it’s a new by law to protect their privacy.WTF!

Fair enough but they didn’t tell us that in the selling brochure! What a have! I had been ripped off ! We had, had several chances of seeing them because they were everywhere, it was Valentines night! In hindsight again..Sant Monica was whre most of them were anyway!

Rodeo drive was amazing though J I loved the window displays….indescribable (a pic of one of my fav ones below)


love these shoes!!!


That done it was time to head back into LA, only driving past the Big Staples stadium where they hold sports and concerts and then onto some pretty lit fountains.

On the way and not part of the tour but almost a highlight we were in a movie , being filmed  just behind the Police escorts-helicopter flying overhead. Dunno the budget or who was in it , but it was real and we weren’t allowed to be seen taking pictures –guttz!

We’d had enough of this tour, we were well and truly over it! It was late we were exhausted and it was the most boring thing I’ve done in a long time .We just wanted to be back at the hotel and in our beds (2 doubles-not queen, for the 4 of us)

Of course, just cause that was how the evening had gone, we were the last to be dropped off at our hotel! At least we did get dropped off I guess lol.

11.30ish now, to our small and stinky chemically smelly room ( but still nice looking and cosy).

It had been a big day. Dying for a shower, only not to be able to get it to work!!

Ph downstairs and they kindly and quickly came up to help. Ive stayed in many hotels, everyone a different shower, but this is the 1st I haven’t been able to work out, I must have been tired.

Showered and no hair dryer! What the hell! this was almost the needle that broke the camels back, although as small as it sounds, I was mortified haha . Kids in Bed a bit of catch up on FB and twitter and check out what the crew is doing in Vegas……..Nekkminnit!!!!!


Honestly, ya had to be there, I couldn’t effing believe it! Zane and Tali asleep, Luc and I on the computer.

And the f**ken fire alarm goes off!!!???

So I jump up undies and top only, manage to pull on my jeans while waking zane ,the kids didn’t no what was going on in their sleepy state. They managed to pop on enough although the boys were almost about to go with just there undies on. We ran out, people amaze me, that they didn’t know the piercing sound was an alarm and how some of them weren’t even in a hurry. The building we were in is very old ( although been done up with a lick of paint etc) I was very conscious of the exits and where they were on the way up to our 4th floor room, as I always am after staying on the 20th story with my mate Emma Hutton in Auckland and having to run down 20 flights of stairs with the sprinklers going and no bras on in the deep of night!

We were evacuated down stairs, it was a false alarm, although we could definitely smell a burnt smell of smoke. Very unsettled we went back upstairs, the poor kids were like the walking dead, infact if I asked Zane now, I don’t even know if he’d remember it, because he was completely out for the count when I had to wake him.

1.30am by now OMG!

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A wanna pretend the alarm is not going off this morning! 6am already this ain’t no relaxing holiday so far! Not complaining though, I’m having a blast!

We get organised, all 4 of us in a small room ya can hardly swing a cat in –it was a bit like faulty towers the 4 of us trying to get ready on top of each other lol.

Down stairs for our 6.50 am pick up , at least with all this driving, we can say we have been all over LA. I can honestly say I think we managed to fit 4 days into 24 hours!!! And like my mate Trin wrote to me…only I would think I could do Santa Monica and Hollywood in between flights lol but to be fair, it didn’t look to far on the map!!! I just didn’t factor in all the traffic, people and incompetence hahaha 😉

LAX again….its such a big airport but nothing to do, so limited with food, no shopping ,nothing to look at, one of the most boring airports in the world, I’d have to say.

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We check into Virgin America. I hadn’t really thought much about it till now, but it truly makes you realise what a superb national carrier our Air New Zealand is.

Virgin, while organised and comfortable had only 2 toilets for the whole plane ( including business). It was a full flight of about 190 people.They couldn’t manage to get us seated together even though most the people around us were separated as well, we all shaking our heads when we talked, seeing how easy the seating configuration could have been.

I do like the capabilities of the internet use, and that you can chat on screen between seats in the flight. I bet there’s a few pick ups happen like that…no notes with phone numbers required to change hands through the air stewardess hahaha.

And a huge food selection but you have to pay as you go. Also if I wanted to book a movie, I have no headphones as I was sposed to purchase them prior to boarding, but as a 1 st timer with Virgin, no one told me.

All good though, Ive spent the last 5.5 hours sleeping for 2 and blogging the rest.

In between talking to my lovely seating neighbours (as the kids and I were seated through out the plane, not seated together ) They were a couple from California, they were going on a cruise too, heading to Aruba. The same couple, that sympathised with our Hollywood at night excursion from earlier in the blog).

Virgin all and all is a good carrier and I prefer it over Delta….on par with American Airlines (the 2 other airlines I have encountered so far this trip apart from Air NZ).

Next stop Fort Lauderdale, I wonder how all the crew is doing? are they still partying? I’m hoping they will be all settled in and so when we arrive we’ll just be able to catch up and go with the flow.

We have tonight and tomorrow morning to have a look around Hollywood beach.

Sooooo looking forward to the cruise! J

Stoked to hear Matty McKee did so well, thinking of my GF as she waves farewell to her daughter on her big OE. Loving my shalack nails Philipa, they are amazing!

Love that I have received a good news report from Jess (my store manager)saying all is well and shes handling things well….the best kinda email to get.

Sin City…..ticked off the Bucket List & Grand Canyon Too!

One of the Seven Wonders of the World………done!

Hope the weathers still good at home? It’s very chilly and dry here in Nevada. Lets hope it gets warmer!!

Grrr the Americans are still finding me very hard to understand, it’s doing my head in a little now, but I’m recognising mid-sentence the look the comes over their faces as if they can’t understand a word and I no to stop and slow it down.

Some of the notable differences for me have been, smoking allowed in bars, Plastic glasses, tin beer bottles instead of cans , though fizzy still comes in cans. Everyone walks the street carrying their alcohol, easily walking form one bar to the next. No alcohol bans here!! Lol Everybody wants a tip! And not the sharpen ya blades for a good cut, kinda one…a $$$$ one!

Early start 5am after a long day yesterday, it’s like getting up for work! We meet down stairs in the lobby with the others for a pickup in a stretch limo.

Its very chilly, but clear, not a cloud in the sky –perfect for flying and not unlike the Central Otago brisk clear mornings.

The sun is rising; it’s a great time of the day.

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We weigh in and are too heavy to combined to all go in the same helicopter……they are all blaming my handbag hahaha.

We have a safety briefing  and are introduced to our pilot “Tony” who tuned out to be a character and a half, just full of knowledge while cracking funnies all along the way and took the piss out of me and Annie constantly haha.

We sat up the front with him; I think he preferred us sitting next to him then Phil and Putty 😉

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I had a blonde moment, and spoke in to the CB backwards; Annie had hers when she questioned Tony about the hoover dam and lake. She asked what they did with all the dirt they dug out to make the lake. LOL Tony was quick to reply they used it to make a north island and a south island and decided to call it New Zealand! We all pissed ourselves laughing. Not so much at Annies expense but the way he answered.

We landed, after a fly over the Hoover Dam and up the Grand Canyon. The terrain is amazing, very sparse and all rock, nothing much grows but the few plants that do have adapted. Rainfall is only 4-10 mls per year, but when it rains there is nowhere for the water to go because it’s so dry it doesn’t absorb, so it leaves dry river bed looking pat\terns all over the canyon.

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We took 100s of photos, sat for a lovely champagne breakfast on a cliff in the Grand Canyon, before flying back to Vegas a different way and taking in more stunning views. A very unique view was seeing all 3 states at once, Nevada, Utah and Arizona.

The dam is at its lowest (see pic) its ever been. It doesn’t look that much but if you think about the size of the dammed lake, it’s actually a huge amount, with little rainfall, warmer seasons and more population……makes ya wonder how long their supplies will be there for future generations?

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We arrived back into Sin City , the day was just beginning!

Meet up with Swiftys and Mains and we started on our explority adventure, of course these don’t last long before the boys find bar ha-ha.

We walked the pavement of the famous ‘strip’, it looks a lot different place in daylight, weather still fresh. We went in and out of all the casinos, everyone with a different theme to entice you into spending all your money with them.

Our hotel has a rollercoaster with a NY yellow taxi as the carts outside the whole casino-it’s huge! The New York skyline is the view from the strip. Truly amazing! Inside it’s a mass of different towers-each containing accommodation along with different bars, restaurants and shops all with a New York theme and feel about them, including the floor!

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(the veiw out our bedroom window)

We saw the fabulous water fountain show at the Bellagio, the famous Caesars Palace, all so much to see a little over whelming and lots of walking. The Venetian my fav (I’d have to say) for Lunch- expecting of course an Italian eatery, instead we sat by the canal (a water feature runs throughout the hotel with singing Italian men serenading couples on their gondolas).The restaurant was Mexican! Not Italian?

Putty ordering us all margaritas and then we ordered the meal, it was amazing, like everything else we had so far experienced. Best Guacamole I’ve ever had, hot and tasty!

More margaritas and a few different beers, we were all getting our glow, feeling full!


We decided to keep moving, walking through the Venetian, experiencing the Italian feel.

Us girls purchase handmade masks (fingers crossed they make the trip home unbroken),the boys purchased cigars from a proper cigar den. Then while we were booking a trip for the gondola, Phil surprised me with the biggest strawberry I’ve ever seen and chocolate dipped  ooouh!So sweet , he and the strawberry too LOL proberly the most expensive strawberry I’ve ever eaten!

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The girls decide a bit of shopping is in order; Annie has been itching to get a shopping bag in her hand. They have lists of orders from the kids. I’m not a shopper, but hanging with the guys ain’t that appealing either. We head out to the outlet stores in South Vegas.

I found a Chinese massage and then I planted myself there, having the most amazing foot and neck massage. While the girls shopped up a storm. Michelle buying another suitcase and filling it!!!

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I must say I brought some cosmetics, Elizabeth Arden (I use) were a quarter of the price then at home! Sooo cheap.

Girls still shopping I found myself sitting at a wig/extension stand. The sales assistance helping me fill in time while I wait for the girls. One blonde wig later and attached, I left with long blonde curls …1 out of the 3 girls noticed immediately (took a few minutes for the other 2).

Shopping done, off to drop the bags off at the hotel and then find the boys… Hooters

They’d been there a while, surprisingly not looking to bad considering the jaegers they had consumed (see receipt)

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Time to move….we traipse off into the city that never sleeps to the MGM-the biggest of all the casinos I would say. We managed to walk in a complete circle easily done hahaha…… saw this guy (see pis)

the size of a table literally!!! See 2 chairs next to him? I actually am surprised we haven’t seen more big people, the way food flows over here and everything is supersize before asking it to be up sized!!!

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I have to say these boys are the most touchy feely bunch lol, always punching, hitting and tripping, ankle tapping ,they must miss each other (Swifty did a geat action move, when Phil ankle tapped him in the middle of the casino, he did a drop , roll and up in a split second to the delight of everyone in the area that was watching).

Found our way outa of the MGM finally, At this stage, late and drunk , all still in our clothes since sun up this morning, we were all in 2 minds what to do? Tired, but its Vegas!

We decide a show is in order!

Unfortunately it seems all the greats are on their week off this week.

*Advice good idea before you book your trip to Vegas, check out who’s performing in town)

Celine is in China for the Chinese New Year, Rod Stewart finished on the 9/2/13, Shania is on holiday and Pink starts here world tour here in Vegas tomorrow (15th) When the others fly out to Fort Lauderdale. Gutted, all acts I would have like to seen, but there are still 100s of shows to choose from though.

We decide on Zumanity a Cirque Du soliel show

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Very sexy, raunchy, with hot topless bodies and a bit of comedy thrown in as well. It was great! Although Phil did sleep  through it haha (true to form).

A great show with some extraordinary acts, woman swimming-diving into a large cocktail glass. Lots of High ribbon dancing (think PINK) and acrobatics also added to the humour was the audience involvement too, but we had to wonder if that wasn’t staged too???

One of the characters did come up behind us while Phil was zzz-ing and placed his arm so it was around my shoulder… woke him for a bit lol. It finished with a fantastic finale with 1000000000s of red rose petals falling from the entire theatre ceiling all over us (I’m still finding the petals in my hand bag now), it was kinda magical.

Show done and everyone horny, we head to bed —-in our respective rooms! Sleep and ready for another day.

Michelle and I booked on the Gondola, so we dragged Swifty and Phil along and Mains as the Paparazzi for us (chief photographer on this excursion)

A short ride but totally worth it.

We were the 1st of the day so we were privileged to be sung to by all 8 of the Gondolier, before being ushered into our waiting Gondola and then our ride with good humour, jokes and serenading (not by the boys but our Gondolier) as Mains ran alongside taking photos lol.

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Valentine’s day in NZ but still the 13th in USA, he told us the story of Saint Valentine.

He was Italian and accused of a very bad crime, was incarcerated and was to be killed. He loved his wife so much, he wrote to her daily. What he didn’t know was that authorities were intercepting his mail and reading his letters. With that they worked out that he in fact was innocent, he became famous a ‘The Romantic’ and so became St Valentine’s Day in his remembrance.

An enjoyable experience and neat to share with good friends….even if Mains was on the outside of the boat lol.

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We caught up with Chris and Anne, M and swifty left us to go on a hunt for their 20th wedding anniversary pressie to themselves…..platinum watches.

We all went to Madame Tussards a fav of mine.

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A bit of a giggle posing with life size and life like celebrities and taking pics.

We went in to Area 51 a sideshow at Tussards.

Mains lead the way, we had to all place our hands on the person in fronts shoulders. Very scary but fun at the same time. Annie and I literally wet our pants and both agreed lucky Kirsten went shopping instead! We were in hysterics laughing but scared at the same time! Putty wanted to hit someone …ha-ha he was at the back so got the brunt of it.

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The experience was a live act, with us walking through several dark and poorly lit areas with real monsters, creeps and freaks ( out of work actors proberly) coming out and frightening the bejesus out of us!!

Still on an adrenalin high after that we went to find all the shoppers at the shopping mall, more shopping!!!, Though this time I did find a dress, or the dress found me I should say. A designer hand made number….oooozing Vegas, I had to have it…(See pic of us all off to Old Vegas)it was on SALE and half price! I had to have it!

The boys took off to do what they came for….well one of the things, To the Gun club, these boys were like kids in a candy store shooting ooziies,9mm pistols ,Glook 9mm and a saw!


The day was getting away on us, I was starting to feel the effects of not enough sleep, so much fun and too much booze…..I decided I needed a snooze instead of shopping I also needed to pack for LA.

Boys back at the casino; Phil gets his winning streak on playing Black Jack-wins $700 before tea. We all get dressed and ready….my last night in Vegas!

We are going to Old Vegas a part of Vegas off the Strip about 20 mins drive, less expensive and more authentic with a lot of locals.

We all dressed to kill, grabbed a limo and headed to Old Sin City… the looks a lot more Sin goes on there then the strip these days 😉

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We’re all buzzing-marvelling at what we’ve already fitted in Amazing!!

Old Vegas was rocking, it’s kind of how I thought the whole of Vegas would be.

Music, dancing in the street, lights everywhere, eccentric people, weirdoes and all sorts. It’s fair to say we were slightly over dressed.

The locals tend to go to Old Vegas because it’s cheaper. Not all of it but most.

We went to a fabulous (and expensive) steak house. Gold Nugget, it wasn’t just any old steak house! No-siree! Steaks to order, Crab, lobster all paid for by the kilo and they weren’t cheap!

But the meal was amazing, the thing over here appetisers (we call entrees) are big! Entrees (we call mains) are massive! Everything is super-size!!!

Bart and Putty decide on the Alaskan crab, Putty let me have a try. My best description would be not so much seafood taste, but a lush silky taste, it’s like a chicken/turkey flesh but not taste.

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They served it with sweet corn and macaroni cheese if you please!

The bubbles were flowing and Phil was still winning!

Every time he would go for a smoke he’d put a bit on the table, he couldn’t lose!!!

The bubbles still flowing, we had a fabulous meal with extraordinary service……..

Dinner done! We went into the fanfare of Old Vegas, they have covered it and have an amazing light show on the ceiling. The music is pumping, people are everywhere and everyone is fizzing. Such a great atmosphere.

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After dancing up a storm, Michelle almost tripping over Annie in her OMG  Vegas purchase shoes (see pic below) and the 3 of us almost wetting our pants again in fits of laughter, we thought it a good idea to head back- I had an flight to catch…

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Dilemma, our earlier limo driver had waited for us and spotted us after we had organised another…..some of the others felt bad so went with him, we stayed in the Limo that we hopped in with Mains….it was a Escalade with all the bells and whistles.

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A night cap back at our Casino and I say my goodbyes……Mains till next time, the rest for 2 days.

Michelle and her shoes (I’m still to try them!) got the better of Kirsten , Annie had tried them earlier. Kirsten adding to our nights entertainment with a fashion show of her trying to walk in them…so funny….oh and then Putty surprising his missus with a lovely single rose……It was Valentine’s day now!!!

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2am And I’m to bed… I have to be at the airport in 2.5 hours!!!!

LA to Las Vegas

LA to Vegas

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Quick as flight (40mins) 2 toilet stops later for the boys , we had utilised our stop over in LAX by visiting the bars, a pub crawl around the airport! No sooner were we up, we were down again.

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The poor flight attendant couldn’t understand me. Classic! Story of my life in USA!

He said’hold up!slow it up and start again”

Americans really do have trouble understanding our kiwi accents. Mine in particular! Maybe my combination, of North and south island? haha


Hellooooooo Las Vegas –

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The landscape between LA and Vegas reminds me of Central Otago, baron with snow-capped mountains.

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Its fresh, the boys nipples have never been so hard. They look slightly a miss in their shorts and jandals, although Phil is looking sharp in his black jeans and shoes.

We girls managed our 1st purchase apart from alcohol this trip (so far). Bart spotted the Pandora store in the airport. This is the one thing we all wanted and can only get in Vegas. A gold and diamond encrusted dice by Pandora for our charm bracelets. We tick that of the list before we’ve even really started!

That done and we head off in the direction of baggage claim, we walked and walked and then took a train, we were starting to wonder WTH we were going?

We pick up our bags, we had taken to long getting there, our bags had been taken off the carousel.

2 taxis Me Bart and Kirsten, Annie, Putty and Phil in the other and head into Sin city. Bart tried hoping in the drivers for a start , forgetting they are left hand drives (funny at the time) he then spent the next  10 mins in New York New York shitting himself lol , we had the worst taxi driver ever ,we still paid a tip, Bart said thanks, the driver replied Thanks don’t pay the bills, remember that!” . And so we haven’t , the worst thing about US is the tipping system…….Its a painful thing, never quite knowing when or when not to? Or how much is too much or not enough?

Swifty and Michelle were waiting to welcome us and soon after Mains (still in 7s mode from hanging out with the Irish)

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A few rounds of drinks at the bar and us all in awe of the Hotel we are staying in. really at this stage , we don’t need to leave, there is so much happening here!!

The outside looks like the New York Shyline and its surrounded with a huge Rollercoaster. Inside its built to look like parts of New York city. There are slot machines everywhere, and restaurants, shows and bars and OMG everything else ya can think of!!

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The boys attracted some crazy pimp daddy dude! We girls decide now its best to leave and get the boys away before he tempts them with something we don’t need.


Off we go….outside to “The Strip”

“wow” its night time by this stage and although its been one long day after leaving the day before, we get a new lease of energy albeit a short one.

The lights are overwhelming and we’re like Asian tourists with over use of our cameras all oooouhing and aaaarghing. Michelle and Swifty point different things out along the way in excitement as its their 2nd trip to Vegas and no all the good spots ( later found out its Mains 3 rd trip, but he just cruised with us and said even though he’s been before , with us it was different experience again)

We head up the strip a bit to Bubba Gumps-Yes!

“Shrimp” a restaurant full of Forrest Gump quotes and Memorabilia oh and did I mention shrimp? Every which way you can imagine having it, its on the menu.

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A few cocktails later lots of Shrimp and a shell cracker (courtesy of Putty –five finger disc-tutt tutt) we have a prize for the end of tour.

Lets see who deserves to win it by the end!

By this stage our pukus are full from so much booze and food.

Our eyes are all starting to close, close to 24 hours since leaving now, the bodies are letting us know. We head back to our hotel, deciding it would be rude not to have a nightcap. Coyote Ugly, yes, like the movie and yes not unlike the movie, there’s woman dancing on bars and doing shots straight from the bottle.

I haven’t got up on a bar since the eventful HongKong night. But it had to be done albeit a quicky dance and a shot….peer pressured by Annie and Kirsten!!

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A quick punt on the slots for the girls and Black Jack for the boys and we head to bed

Its been an awesome start to the holiday. Early start tomorrow, 6 am pick up for the Grand Cayon tour!

Auckland to LA

11 th Feb 2013

First leg of the trip……Dunedin to Chch..Champainge breakfast, how could we not? Bubbles all round and a few beers for the boys as well!

We boarded with a glow.

Kirsten stating “now no one is to sleep on this flight or it will buggar up our time clocks”

10mins in, even before service I look around and all 3 of my comrades’ are asleep!! LOL

A few more minutes in to the flight and Bart and Kirsten finish resting their eyes (so they say)..Phil on the other hand and true to form is fast asleep in deep slumber…drooling he is so relaxed. We  managed o get a few great pix.

Chch stop off, enough time for a few giggles and we manage to loose Bart, find again and then a quick drink before boarding aagain to Auckland.

Bart has carry on luggage, containing only 1 pair of socks and lot of underwear! He’s wearing jandals we are going to a dessert in the winter…..socks and Jandals lol …… Bart packed his own bags .

While on the plane ( Chch to Aklnd), I read an article, Parisian tips and weight formula.

(refer to my 2008 blog regarding my observation of the French and food) “the French eat and don’t get fat!

I did the formula and am pleasantly surprised, I’ m 3 kgs under at this stage of the trip! It’ll be interesting at the end! eeeeecck!

The formula if you are interests is

A>    How much did you weigh at 18 years old without dieting?

B>    How much di you weigh at your heaviest excluding pregnancy weight?

C>    How much did you weigh at your lightest after the age of 18, with or without dieting?

D>    What is your current weight?

E>     Add together your answers A and B and then divide by 2. The result is Y

F>     Add together your answers to question C and D and divide by2 , the result is Z

G>   Add Y and Z and then divide by 2

This is your ideal weight!

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Auckland and we meet up with Annie and Putty who have up sized their order, splashed out the bargain price to get a bed on the flight……. I’m not the only one looking for luxury!

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We have a few beverages watch the Aussie touch team do some crazy wrestling in the middle of the International departures and discuss all the 7 million things people have told us we all must do while in Vegas!!! If we even attempt it we would need 6 months there!! The plan at this stage is the Grand canyon and then we will just go with whatever….sounds good!!

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I board the flight and wave bye to the crew, as they give me shit ….I love it!! Haha

Seated by myself, but next to an American who has been visiting our beautiful country for the past 2 months. And another American who asked if he could take a photo of me as he saw me painfully trying to take a selfie hahaha …see  my pic compared to his .lol


More bubbles before take off…the crew walk past me and the American notices I must know them, either that or maybe he thinks I might be famous as they take photos going past haha.

Phil walks past and I hand him my goodie bag…socks, ear pluds, sleeping mask tooth brush n paste, lip balm etc all part of the amazing treatment in Premium Economy.

The leg room is amazing and I really do hop Phil has claimed what would have been my seat.

Warm damp face cloths are haandr out to refresh us.

We take off, dinner is served….. a delicious  menu of salmon, sour doe and olive oil to dip, then I chose Lamb, followed by dessert and the cheese and cracker…along with many more bubbles.

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I get up and stretch in between meals and wander down to the other (cattle class we had it suggested to us from our checkin) and there… the middle row is phil……what would have been me, Kirsten and Bart……like sardines…..poor Phil cant even get his table down on his knees. Why oh why he wouldn’t want an up grade is beyond me.. they are in good spirits and Annie and Putty are parked up with they’re extra seat ready to turn into a bed….. a bit of spooning and no doubt something else…..hahaha

So now its time to sleep the lights have been dimmed in the cabin… movies are being watched , people have already put thier eye shades on and sleeping…Next stop LA

Foot note# 2 hours out from LAX

When I popped down to see the others, Putty had taken over their bargin bed..poor Annie and been pushed out to another seat. Kirsten didn’t know if she’d slept or not. Phil hadn’t had much, Bart just always has a smile J

Had the best service on board NZ 6, the flight wasn’t full and the lovely steward invited me to my own set of seats and made it up like a bed for me….I said ‘’ ooouh special attention”” he replied of course! Because its you!

The Itinerary


Living the Dream

11 Feb 2013

Auckland –LA-Las Vegas

Staying at New York New York

14 Feb

Kids leave NZ to LA

14 FEB (US time)

I leave everyone in Vegas and fly back to LAX to meet kids, we have a night in Santa Monica

15th Feb

We leave LAX everyone leaves Vegas and we all meet ay Fort Laurderdale, staying at Hollywood Beach.

16th Feb

We board our Caribbean Cruise ’Oasis of the Seas’

18th Feb Haiti

20th Jamaica

22nd Cozumel

23rd Fort Lauderdale

We say farewell to our mates, and hop on a bus for a road trip to Orlando (6 hours) we have 4 days there before we fly direct home via Dallas, LAX and then arriving in Auckland on the 1st March.

Its gunna be full on! But fabulous! 

Anxious and excited all at once!

I’m getting ready……will I ever be ready? 1 more sleep! Unbelievable! Its surreal when you’ve been planning and looking forward to something so long…… and it’s only 1 more sleep!

Tomorrow I leave the kids to fend for themselves  for 3 days before I meet them in LA after they leave from Dunedin on Thursday. I will have had 3 nights in Vegas by then.

I’ve had several lists all a mile long (no exaggeration, oh well maybe a little) it’s at this point when I actually realise how much I usually fit into 20 days! These lists have made all my excitement at times turn to anxious feelings and my head spin on my shoulders. I’ve got to the point where I can’t do anymore……except for a curve ball thrown in at me on late Friday arvo, didn’t impress me but oh well…..I can sort tomorrow between Dunedin, Chch and Auckland I’m sure.

Tonight I’m amazingly relaxed….

Not so the rest of the week! I’ve had sleepless nights…’s been forever I’ve wanted to get to Jamaica, Although the rest of the trip will be amazing…Jamaica is for my soul.

I’ve tried to lose weight, so I look ok next to my GFs ,the beach babe in particular, to no avail haha..Something to do with my social life and lack of enthusiasm for exercise I think 😉

However a couple of new swimwear outfits later….and nothing a few glasses of champagne won’t fix. I’m gunna be 40 soon who gives a folk hahahaha Forty and fabulous on the inside anyway! 😉

I had an email 2 days ago, I’d been waiting for it for days. Air NZ has a one up offer, for an opportunity to use your airpoints for an up- grade. I decided to try it out….

They let you know 7-3 days out from your flight. I’d been checking that email every morning first thing. I got this email through mid morning, I screamed with excitement and I hadn’t even opened it!

Andy my colleague wondered What the flip!?

I sat there not wanting to open it incase my offer hadn’t been accepted, my emotions were fizzing (really who gets this excited about stuff like this? OTT though I’m quite an excitable kind a girl) , but I knew I’d be gutted if I missed out.

Andy egged me on, I opened it finally and to my delight……..I saw the word Congratulations first and knew I had it!

My excitement poured out of  me and my delight all to much for Andy who wasn’t used to seeing his boss act like she’s just won the world, not an upgrade to premium economy…its not even business class, but its still good all the same.

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(a view of premium economy)

It was the icing on the cake to what is going to be an amazing adventure with some good mates and my family…….Starting tomorrow!

I will post a brief Itinerary if you’re interested in reading more….

50 shades of grey and more…….

My closet? Really? A blog about my closet, it was suggested by a fellow tweeter that a few of us participate. Never one to turn down an invitation, I wondered where to begin?

Being in the rag trade, my wardrobe is as you would expect.

Full to overflowing, even after my regular clean outs there still doesn’t seem to be any more room! My Friends are the benefactors.

I have rules!

If I buy a pair of shoes I need to get rid of a pair. I also buy the majority of my clothes from my store.

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Its very rarely that you will ever catch me wearing something purchased elsewhere. Nothing worse then when someone admires what you are wearing and then proceeds to ask where you got it from, and I can’t reply Carvin Streetwear!

I’m my stores best customer or so you would think but I’m actually 4th on the list! Yes, I pay for my clothes (another rule I have) it makes sense to me, because if I wasn’t buying them there I’d be buying them somewhere, it is also a deterrent to me, stops being to over indulgent and makes me think, do I need it for a split second haha. So as you peer at the photos of my wardrobe I can pretty much guarantee 85-90% of my wardrobes contents are from Carvin Streetwear including shoes and accessories.



My clothes are in colour and style order. Jackets and Cardis on the bottom, dresses, shirts and tunics on top. Long Jackets and long dresses (maxi and cocktail) are together on another rack.

Uniform black plastic hangers,that used to be wooden but they were replaced so I could fit more in. The wooden ones now only reside in my husbands wardrobe. Yes we have his and hers wardrobes…he has as many clothes as me!

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My jeans and pants are folded, along with jumpers.I fold tee’s and tops, shorts and sports wear all into their own cubbyholes.

My drawers contain socks,hankerchifs and underwear all matching.

My numerous swimwear and sarongs also have their own cubbyhole.

What does that make me? Organised or OTT (Over the top)

Some things just never date or you love so much ya just can’t biff…….

My fav piece of clothing would have to be my faded light blue denim jacket, it goes well with most things and can make an outfit that is to flash for an occasion, a more casual and comfortable outfit. I’m a casual kinda girl, with my style in a tidy way.

My most admired and oldest piece in my wardrobe is a vintage camel haired jacket. Nz made way back when, with genuine  camel hair made in England. ( I think its about 60-70 years old)

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I inherited from an Aunty Paul (she’s 90 now) when we shifted south, she gave it to and said “here dear, wear this when your in the shed,it’ll keep you warm” .

I wouldn’t have dreamed of ever wearing it in the cowshed, I fell in love with it as soon as she pulled it out. My colour!  The perfect cut and length. They don’t’ make coats like this any more.


Fifty shades of grey….and black….and brown….and blue, but my favourite colour this season has been orange!

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3 Teens In The House

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(Zane this morning straight outa bed to open some presents)

My baby has turned 13!  He arrived 2.2.2000

I remember having babies and some days just wishing they’d grow up. Always in a hurry for their next milestones.

Well it’s happened and all to fast!

Oh how easy, looking back now,it is when they’re young.  They love you unconditionally,listen intently and apart from saving them from a hot fire place, a few trips to and overnighters to hospitals, and a couple of broken bones,its been a breeze.

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Now the hard part! Teen years.

This is where a kid can get made or be broken. It’s dependant on their teachers, family, surrounds and their belief in themselves. And as a parent of course making sure if they get into mischief, you know about it,but they don’t necessarily need to know you know.  I’m a firm believer you need to try some things to learn (note the some not all) from your mistakes. As they did as toddlers, exploring and learning as they go.

So now I have Miss 17,Mr 15 and  Mr 12 who has become Mr 13………..

My job as a parent is to guide them,help them adjust,experiment life and make them realise their dreams are worth going after.

Closing my eyes and making a birthday wish………….

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