Suite photos I just had to have

Because my job is amazing (sorry, but it is) I get to work with some of the best hotels in the industry. Some I directly work with and others I stare at from a distance in awe. Like the St. Regis New York – the first St. Regis to open its doors back in 1904. Oh, how lovely it is. The heritage behind the brand … well, that’s something worth looking up. It’s a pretty cool story about the Astor family.

Anyway, part of my job is to source good imagery for marketing email campaigns. Images that make you want to book a stay at our hotels. While I was doing this, I came across some amazing photos of the suite entrances, hotel corridors and interior rooms of this hotel. Something about these photos caught my eye.

It’s the architecture, the welcoming entrance, the colors of the doors. They are all so intriguing. I ended up printing some of these photos for my own office. I just have to find some frames that do them justice and then I’ll be able to stare at these pretty images all day.

Makes you want to visit, doesn’t it?

St. Regis New York -Hotel Corridor St. Regis New York -Dior Suite Living Room St. Regis New York-Dior Suite Living Room St. Regis New York-Tiffany Suite - Dining Room with Central Park view St. Regis New York-Bentley Suite Living Room

St. Regis New York-Tiffany Suite EntranceSt. Regis New York-Royal Suite Entrance St. Regis New York-Grand Suite Entrance St-regis-new-york-imperial-suite-entrancePhotos property of The St. Regis New York hotel.

24 Hours in Las Vegas

Here’s how our quick, 24 hour birthday trip to Vegas looked. (I promised myself I wouldn’t take pictures – rather, just enjoy every second). And then, there I was snapping a few photos. Just a few. That’s progress.

Vegas 1

It’s Vegas. Faux eye lashes and lots of shimmer are in order. We stayed at the Westin, which is slightly off of the Strip and sandwiched in between Bally’s and Flamingo. It was really nice. Super close to everything and we’re SPG loyalists, so it worked.

Bellagio Vegas Casino

We enjoyed a little gambling and wine before dinner. After our 1/2 mile walk to the Bellagio turned into 30 minutes. Everything looks so close in Vegas! It’s not.

VegasWe saw some really interesting folks while walking around. This guy was cool and creepy at the same time. I learned from Ryan this is a Storm Trooper. I have never seen Star Wars (don’t hate) so I just thought this was some knight in shining white armor. With a laser.

Ceasars Palace Vegas HotelEveryone looks at the lights, but I like to look up at the buildings. It was right after this moment that Ryan and I realized ‘hey, we are in Vegas!’. We have two kids. People with two kids don’t do these kind of things.

Vegas Casino - RyanThen we put on our game faces and got all kinds of serious with an electronic game of poker. Ryan taught me how to play. We went ‘max bet’ and threw down $1 each draw. I know … we’re wild.

Hyde Vegas Hotel

It was the craziest thing. On our way to Jasmine at the Bellagio, I ran into one of my co-workers. She works out of our Seattle office and was dining next door. What are the odds of that?

Jasmine Bellagio ChopsticksDinner at Jasmine was unreal. Truly remarkable. It’s Chinese food with a great view of the fountains. The china, the service, the food (especially the Chilean sea bass) were remarkable. See the chopsticks? They had silver on the ends, like china chopsticks I suppose. It was all really fancy (but not too fancy). Because we’re not 5 star people. We’re like 4 star. At most.

Jasmine Bellagio Restaurant

In this moment, Ryan leaned in, “Just say no when she comes around, okay.” There was a lady taking pictures of couples at dinner. Before I could put my camera away, there she was – standing over our table. “Can I take your photo?” Sure? I said. Ryan groaned.

Joke was on me. She had us stand up. Pose like we were at prom. “Arm on his chest. Hand on her waist. That’s good. Now kiss his cheek. Put your hand on your hip. Now, you all by yourself.” Humiliating.  The entire restaurant was staring at us, as we embarked on a mini photo shoot.

Then, she came back again. This time with the photos. You could see fear in our eyes in every photo. She was good. But not “$140 for all 4 photos” good.

Jasmine Bellagio Dinner View

Jasmine came highly recommended from a friend, who had spent her anniversary dinner here. It’s really a special place. The view can’t be beat.

Bobby Flay Mesa Grill Vegas Bar

We like to eat dinner one place, then go somewhere else for dessert. And that’s just what we did. We went to Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill. We sat at the bar and ordered cocktails and the deep dish banana cream pie.
.Bobby Flay Mesa Grill Vegas Dinner

I think we camped out at this bar for another few hours. Just talking. Laughing and enjoying Vegas. If you ever get the chance to surprise your husband for his birthday, get a babysitter for the kids and do it!  Dating your husband and traveling with your best friend is something that can’t be beat.

Vegas Limos

The next morning, we got up, ate breakfast at the hotel, gambled some more, then took a limo to the airport. Because … well, why not? We were back home by 3pm, anxious and ready to see the kids. It was the best birthday-surprise date ever.

The Travel Hat: Disneyland Photos

I love fall. I love Disneyland. It was like the stars aligned for this trip. Two weeks ago we went to Disneyland with Kelsey. I was there for a work trip so we decided to make the most of it.

Ryan flew out with Kelsey and away we went. We bought a three-day pass and used every minute of it. And even more exciting is seeing the Park from your child’s eyes.

We went on the Ariel ride (about 5 times) and just before our first ride, Kelsey would turn to us and say, “When we see Ursula, we have to cover our mouth so she won’t take our voice!” See what I mean. Just too cute for words.

disneyland at halloween time

disneyland with kidsdisneyland with kidsdisneyland with kids

big thunder ranch barbecue

We went to Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue for dinner on our first night. It’s family style barbecue food (and oh-so good!). They had great country singers, we sat outdoors and there were pumpkins all around. Kelsey’s favorite part were the tongs on the table. Go figure.

disneyland with kids OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA disneyland with kids disneyland with kids

disneyland with kidsdisneyland with kidsClick on this picture to enlarge it. There’s something so nostalgic about it. Maybe it’s the guy in stripes. Maybe it’s the bouquet of balloons. Or, maybe it’s the castle in the background. Whatever it was, I really liked this moment and had to snap a photo.

disneyland with kids

disneyland with kidsKelsey’s two heroes: Dad and Peter Pan. I’m pretty sure my daughter was the only girl in the Park carrying around Peter Pan. Two years ago, all she wanted was Mickey. This year, it is all about Peter Pan and the Princesses.

disneyland with kids disneyland with kidsdisneyland with kidsThere is something about heights and going round and round in a circle that doesn’t do it for me. But, Kelsey’s G-ma told her that she had to ride Dumbo and the Tea Cups so away we went.

For the record, I stayed on the ground and Ryan took one for the team on Dumbo. It’s a classic. You can’t come to Disneyland without riding the elephant.

disneyland with kids

After day one, we had been on Dumbo, Tea Cups, Alice & Wonderland, met some characters, visited Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue and the nearby Halloween Fall Carnival.  And to think our day started at 2pm.

We went to Cars Land too. We had no idea who the Cars were, but the rides were so much fun. We at ice cream at “Cozy Cone Motel”. It’s this super cute outdoor eating area where the buildings are orange traffic cones. The cones light up at night and it makes for a great spot to end the day with dessert.

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disneyland shirt

There came a point during our trip, when Kelsey wore a Snow White costume and I was purchased a Dumbo tee-shirt. When in Rome, right?

disneyland with kids

disneyland with kidsdisneyland with kids

disneyland with kids

disneyland with kids

Meeting Tinkerbell was one of the highlights. But, not to be outdone by the new Starbucks that opened on Main Street the very day that we were there. They even have their own Disney cups. Let’s just say we were a bit excited.

disneyland with kids disneyland with kids disneyland with kids disneyland with kidsThe castle! Where do I even start? Kelsey loved seeing a real Princess castle up close and personal. She even threw a Princess-sized tantrum right outside of the gates. What’s that saying? Ah yes, If the shoe fits.

disneyland with kids

disneyland with kids

cars land at disneylanddisneyland with kidsdisneyland with kids We convinced Lauren to visit us on Friday. And then a few hours later she and her brother convinced me to try the world’s best sandwich, the Monte Cristo sandwich at the Blue Bayou Restaurant. Wowza. This thing was loaded  deep-fried goodness and I think I’m still working off the calories of that lunch. You can read about the Monte Cristo here.

goofydisneyland with kids   disneyland with kids

disnyand with kids disnyand with kids OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen, we waited in line for Goofy, Minnie, Mickey … the works. The button that she is wearing is from lunch at Ariel’s Grotto. If you’re going to Disneyland, I recommend the Grotto for lunch.

I’ll be honest, we spent way too much on lunch ($115 for three) but it was worth it to see her face light up as each Princess visited our table. And she met Ariel, her favorite.

All in all, Disneyland was worth every penny, every tantrum, every early morning. We just loved experiencing the “Happiest Place on Earth” through a child’s eyes. We’ll be back … next time, we’ll take baby Colton with us.

The Life of Dual Working Parents

This dual-working parent thing is no joke. One minute you’re here. One minute you’re there. Your husband has to be your best friend and you have to work together to ensure everything stays in order and the kids don’t miss a beat.

I told Kelsey last night that I was leaving on another work trip. She got sad for about 32 seconds and I thought, Here it comes. How do I explain to her that mommy has to work just like Daddy does. Then, she turned to me and said, “Mom, can you tell me the story of Little Mermaid one more time?”

I love their innocence. In that moment, I was reminded that I probably miss her more than she misses me at this age. I love those kids so much. I’m in Aspen now. Instead of working inside the hotel lobby, I stepped outside with a glass of vino and my laptop and took the photo below. I’ll post photos from Disneyland soon and then Aspen. I promise.

If the kids and Ryan were here … well, then it would be perfect.

st regis aspen

Relish Burger Bistro | Aka Burger Heaven

For those of you who live in Arizona, make the trip to Relish Burger Bistro at The Phoenician for lunch. For when you do, you can get an amazing Kobe burger (cleverly garnished), delicious tater tots and great beers & lager. To complement your meal, you’ll see some pretty golf course views.

Order the s’mores for dessert and they’ll bring a mini fire pit to your table for roasting. I promise, you won’t break the bank and your kids will thank you. They even serve root beer floats for the kiddos and adult shakes for us.

Side note: When I was little, my Nana told me that we were the only people who knew the recipe to make a root bear float. “Shh … no one knows this but us,” she would say. I think it was the next week when we were out to dinner and I saw “Root Beer Float” on the menu. Seeing root beer floats on the menu at Relish reminded me of her.

Relish Burger Bistro, ArizonaRelish Burger Bistro, Arizona

Relish Burger Bistro, ArizonaRelish Burger Bistro Relish Burger Bistro, Arizona See the golf tee in the bun? Besides the food being great, it was details like this that I just loved. This is Ryan’s Southwestern Burger.

Relish Burger Bistro, Arizona

This was our s’mores dish. There are no pictures after this because we were too busy digging in. The smell of this fire reminded me of roasting s’mores in Deer Valley – just last month. Funny how a trip to somewhere new in your hometown can make you feel like you’re out-of-town.

The Canyon Suites | Final Days of Summer

We spent the final days (ahem, day) of summer poolside at The Canyon Suites at The Phoenician. We had ourselves a little staycation in celebration of my mom’s 59th birthday.

Kelsey loved the private pool, we loved the view of Camelback Mountain and my mom loved the fact that the cabanas came with their very own shower! Little luxuries were at every turn at this beautiful resort.

the canyon suites pool

the canyon suites pool the canyon suites pool the canyon suites poolthe canyon suites pool the canyon suites poolthe canyon suites poolthe canyon suites poolHere’s a photo of my dad and Colton just lounging. Colton looks so much like  him; he is a little Doug Rothery, that is for sure!

the canyon suites poolthe canyon suites poolthe canyon suites poolthe canyon suites pool

Watching Colton splish and splash, while overhearing Kelsey pretend that she is Ariel and Ryan is “Prince Eric” was the highlight for me.

The Travel Hat: The St. Regis Deer Valley

It was our family’s New Years resolution to “travel more”. And I would say that Ryan and I are making good on that promise. I was visiting The St. Regis Deer Valley Resort last year (for work) when I called my mother-in-law and said, “this resort is for you!” (if you know my in-laws, you know this mountain resort is right up their ally).

Fast forward to this year, and my in-laws and I took the kids to Deer Valley to celebrate my mother-in-law’s 60th birthday and to indulge ourselves in the royal treatment. In case you’re wondering, Deer Valley is a private community right outside of Park City, Utah. It’s gorgeous. Secluded. And resides against the Wasatch Mountains.

Ryan and I did feel a little “Downton Abbey-ish” at this resort. For instance, our Butler was waiting for us upon arrival at the front desk. He greeted us all by name and walked us to our suites to point out all of the room features. His name was Alexander Mattinson, head butler for the resort and lead butler for the North America St. Regis Training Program.

As we were walking down the hall to our suites, my mother-in-law turned to him and asked, “What did you do before you worked for St. Regis?” “Oh”, he replied, “I worked for the royal family at Buckingham Palace”. Turns out, he worked as carriage driver, store manager for the Royal Mews and valet to the crown equerry. Yep, this is how our experience started out. It was a five-star family vacation that I’ll never forget.

Throughout the week, I’ll post more pictures and stories from our trip. It was truly a memorable vacation with my family that I will always cherish.

St. Regis Deer ValleyThis is the resort; beautiful, isn’t she?

St. Regis Deer Valley

St. Regis Deer Valley

The pool area where we spent an entire afternoon. We couldn’t keep Kelsey out the pool. Travel tip: Bring your children’s swim floaties. Thank me later.

St. Regis Deer ValleyI used to have the same initials as St. Regis – before I got married that is. To me, whenever I see the initials “SR” I get extra excited.

St. Regis Deer Valley St. Regis Deer Valley

St. Regis Deer Valley

St. Regis Deer ValleyEvery night from 7-9pm you can roast s’mores at the fire pits. I had been craving s’mores since my last pregnancy so to me – it was heaven! You literally walk right up and the s’mores tray is already set out for you.St. Regis Deer Valley

St. Regis Deer Valley

St. Regis Deer ValleyThis the “Funicular”. It’s an indoor gondola-type car. You park at the base of the resort, then you ride the Funicular up the mountain and into the resort. It’s one of two ways you can arrive. Kelsey loved it. And that view?

St. Regis Deer Valley

St. Regis Deer Valley

This is a photo right outside the “fire garden”. It’s a little area where you can sit and watch multiple fire pits while gazing over the horizon.

St. Regis Deer Valley You have to “click” on this photo to enlarge it in order to see its true beauty.

St. Regis Deer Valley

St. Regis Deer ValleyDo we look like parents or what in this photo? This was our first official vacation as a party of four. Here’s to many more family trips in our future.

The Family Hat: Where We’ve Been

We’ve spent the last 4 days relaxing in Deer Valley, Utah. It’s beautiful there. We spent our days mountainside, poolside, fireside and cocktailside (?).

Once I get my bags unpacked, I’ll post some of my pictures and stories. I’m a little bummed that we have to come back to reality. Vacation withdrawl is an actual thing, right?

family vacation