Saturday, July 9, 2011

Summer Travels :-)

Patrick and I have been quite the jet-setters these past two weeks...I guesstimate that we've flown over about 20 states in that time! We visited three of them, and even drove into another country.

First up, Vegas!

If you know my husband, you're probably thinking "How did you get Patrick to Vegas?!" Patrick isn't a gambler, and if he's going to fly anywhere these days, it's somewhere close enough for him to fly to himself. Well, I didn't have to do too much work, "Teammates For Kids", a foundation run by Garth Brooks, got us there.

This organization is amazing! They ask athletes (football, soccer, hockey, baseball, bull riding...) to donate a set amount of money each year according to a statistic. Patrick did tackles. One hockey player that was there did fights - haha! Each donation is then TRIPLED by different organizations that also donate. 100% of the donations goes to the kids! How awesome is that?! Kids with disabilities get the extra help they need, kids who live in bad areas are kept off the streets through afterschool programs, really anything to help kids is done through this organization and we're so proud to be a part of it!!

As a thank you for donating, Garth invites each contributing player and a guest to see him perform. Some years it's at his home in Nashville, other years it's in Las Vegas. This year, it was in Vegas baby! Patrick and I headed out west to the city of lights and had a fabulous time! In true Vegas fashion, we got very little sleep - lol! Our stay totaled about 36 hours and we wanted to see and do as much as possible in that time. We stayed at The Wynn which was breathtaking! I had been to Vegas a few years back and had been in a lot of the big hotels, but never The Wynn. Honestly, I think it's one of the most beautiful ones on the strip! It's not super-spectacular from the outside, but the inside...WOW!!
The Wynn all lit up!

The inside of the hotel at night...magical!
Waterfall outside the Pizza Parlor

I loved this wall of clocks in the Pizza Parlor...very cool idea!
And how about the view from our room! We stayed on the 59th floor and faced the golf course...It's huge! Patrick loved that the planes passed right by our window!

Day 1, Patrick and I explored the Strip and visited as many hotels as our feet would take us. Las Vegas Boulevard looks short - until you start walking it! Another one of those Vegas illusions I suppose! We made it as far as Caesar's. When back at our room we got ready for our first Teammates event, a dinner with fake table game gambling - fun! I learned how to play Blackjack, no, really play Blackjack! Some of our friends from the Steelers were good to get to spend time with these guys!

The following day was concert day. We did brunch at the hotel while listening to a lecture on where all our donations went - which was super cool! Some of the kids even came and performed for us!

After, I met my friends Hope and Ang. They both live in Vegas now. I hadn't seen them since my wedding, and I didn't get to spend all that much time with them then. It was SO nice seeing them!!

Patrick and I then took our chances on the slot machines and table games. Vegas got our money - lol! We had doubled our money at Blackjack and should have walked away then...but we didn't and ultimately lost it all. Fortunately we aren't big betters so it was less then $200 total.

Now, the concert...! First, I've loved country music since I was a little girl. I grew up listening to it, so naturally, Garth was a big part of that! I was giddy to see him perform!! We walked the red carpet to get into the...fancy schmancy!

When in the theatre we found our seats...SIX rows from the stage...EEEK!!! See, it wasn't a private show, people purchased tickets so the teammates seats were scattered throughout the be that close...WOW! I was surprised to see nothing fancy on stage. Nothing had his name all over it. Even more surprising, there was no band, just a guitar.

When Garth came out he sang his first single "Much Too Young" - which was awesome! But then we didn't hear another Garth song for some time. He sang "Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay", "Mrs. Robinson", "Hey Jude" name it. All these songs, which were amazing, but not Garth's songs. The concert was very different from what I thought it would be. In a good way!! It was so personal, really a walk through his life, musically. We walked through the decades of his life and the music that inspired him along the way. I'm so convinced he can sing ANYTHING! It was fun getting into the 90's and getting to hear his originals though! After a few songs we got a surprise...his wife, Tricia Yearwood, came out and performed "In Another's Eye's" with Garth and "She's In Love With The Boy" solo...she is a powerhouse! They both rocked good!

My favorite song Garth sang was "Unanswered Prayers" - he was right in front of us and it felt like he was singing into my soul!

After the show the guys got to go on stage for a photo with Garth and Tricia...

Then they invited the ladies on stage for a photo! On our way up, Garth was helping the ladies in their heels. He kept saying "You're Welcome, You're Welcome, You're Welcome" then came me in my cowgirl boots and he said "Smart!" - I had to laugh! I was so torn on wearing them because I knew I would be one of the only girls wearing them. At that moment I was happy with my decision :-)

After the concert was a meet and greet with Garth and Tricia by the pool...unfortunately, Patrick and I couldn't attend as we had to make our flight. See, Patrick's agent, Doc, has an annual golf outing in Michigan and we knew we couldn't miss it. So we red-eyed it to Ann Arbor. It was a bummer knowing we could have met Garth and Tricia and just missed that opportunity, but it's not the end of the world. We had a fabulous time, and got to see a wonderful show.

The red-eye was rough, as was golfing on so little sleep, but we both had a good time. It was so nice seeing friends we hadn't seen since the previous year! I haven't officially had my golfing lessons yet so I didn't 100% golf, but I did putt and did pretty good considering the lack of sleep I was running on!

The following day we traveled to Canada for Doc's annual Dojo banquet. The food served is authentic Chinese - nothing like what can be found at most Chinese restaurants. I'm proud to say I ate cow tongue...before I knew what it actually was - lol!!

After those trip wrapped up we had a few days of downtime before packing up and heading to Narragansett, Rhode Island! Our friends, Christa and Pat invited us to stay with them there over the Fourth of July holiday! What a beautiful place!

This trip was very unique for us. First, it marked the first time I would be flying with Patrick, and second, it marked Patrick's longest trip flying a plane himself!

As I'm sure you can imagine, I was a nervous wreck! It was crazy (and a little scary!) seeing everything out the front windows...I'm used to having a tiny window on the side of a plane that is usually obstructed by the wing!

This trip got off to a slow start because Patrick found out the GPS in the plane wasn't up to date. So we ended up taking off far later then we had planned and expected, which was about 5:00. The flight there was 4 hours long, but we took a little break in State College, about this picture for all my PSU friends?!

When on the ground I spotted a hot air fun!
And when back in the air I snapped this one for my PSU friends :-)

The second leg of the trip I was a lot more calm in the plane and actually read a little bit of my magazine (I had felt nauseous doing so previously in the trip) before I noticed the sun setting behind us! What a beautiful way to watch a sunset!

Once the sky was dark I thought I would be freaking out, but I actually liked this best. To me, it was easier to spot oncoming  planes for Patrick, and for whatever reason there weren't as many bumps. Once we hit New Jersey and Connecticut, I got a treat...Fireworks! I got to watch about a dozen different firework shows going on! It was really cool! I tried to snap photos but there were too many reflections with the windows, and lights from the dash.

Once we approached Rhode Island, my fun came to an end. I look out my window and notice rain coming down pretty hard on our wings and windshield! All I said was, "Is that rain?" Patrick said "Yep" and I said not one more word the entire trip. I sat there and prayed so hard that the rain would stop and we would get there already!!! Fortunately, the rain did stop within about 10 minutes and within another 10 we were circling over the airport. I got the enjoyment of not one, but two landings lol...Patrick went to touch down and realized that he didn't allow enough runway for a complete stop so he had to go back UP in the air, circle around again, and touch down a second time! Mind you, I'm still not talking, just praying!!! lol! Second time was a charm - Thank God! My friend Christa was there and watching the whole thing...she was praying for us too! I told her the most amazing things I saw were...Hot Air Balloons in Pennsylvania, Fireworks in Jersey and Connecticut and THE GROUND and Her in Rhode Island!!! Patrick did a great job though. He always stayed calm, cool and collected...great job Pilot Pat!

The house we stayed at (The one on the left...right one is the guest house) was AMAZING!!! It was so charming with all the wicker and beach decor - not to mention it was right on the water! It's safe to say I fell in love with this house and Rhode Island!

Waking up was amazing...we had a balcony off our room, which was in the front of the house, so we could hear the waves crashing on the rocks, smell the salt water, and feel the sun rising. Good Morning Rhode Island!

Pat and Christa were amazing hosts! They took us to Newport where we got to see some of the beautiful homes and beaches...I think I'll take one of each!

At night there was a party at the house. I had so much fun meeting Christa's Rhode Island friends! They are such great people :-) I only knew them a few hours but felt like I'd known them much longer!

The following morning, "Our Pat's" went golfing and we went shopping! Gosh, I love Newport! Such fun shops with unique gifts and trinkets. Lucky for Patrick, I only purchased a book and magnet for our fridge (A tradition I have since we've been married is to purchase a magnet from every place we visit!)...I could have bought the entire town! Loved it!

That night was pretty low key. The guys played a game of wiffle ball, and us girls went exploring...


Then we cooked dinner...

Who are we kidding...we didn't cook dinner! A huge thank you to Pat for this amazing dinner from "Spain"...stuffed lobster and fillet...It was beyond unbelievable!

We had a wonderful time in Rhode Island! Hopefully we'll get to go back again in the future :-) Thanks for Pat and Christa for inviting was amazing!!

I told Patrick no more flying for awhile! I'm guessing the next trip we'll be making will be Nashville, Tennessee...fingers crossed at least!

Until next blog...Hugs!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Introducing: The Bailey Blog :-)

Welcome to "The Bailey Blog"! Now that I am officially a Bailey, and the wedding is FINALLY blogged about, I can now start up my brand new blog and say so-long to "Becoming Bailey". 

Life as a newlywed is awesome! I absolutely love being a wife! Each morning I get to wake up next to my husband and each day starts with a good morning kiss...what could be better?! Patrick and I have adjusted to living together quite smoothly. Yeah, sometimes he drives me crazy when he fails to put his dishes in the dishwasher or leaves his socks on the kitchen floor...but I'm sure I drive him equally crazy when I nag at him not to do that stuff anymore lol. All in all, we are having FUN! It's interesting learning how to be a good wife, and I'm enjoying every minute!
I'm loving learning to cook so if any of my readers have any must-have recipes please share! I love to experiment making new meals! 

The last 3 months have been a whirlwind that's for sure! They have gone by so quickly, I really can't even believe we've been married 1/4 of a year already! Crazy! I'll share some fun stuff we've done in that time...

After the wedding, Patrick and I were off to Playa Mujeres, Mexico for a much-needed Honeymoon! It was pure bliss! We spent 8 days and 9 nights at Excellence Resort and Spa, and it was paradise! Anyone looking
for a place to stay in the Cancun/Riviera Maya area, this is the place to go! Aside from being absolutely beautiful, the food was great (guests can get food 24 hours a day), the staff was pleasant, the entire resort was pristine cleanliness, and there was always some activity going on for guests to partake in. 

Patrick and I enjoyed kayaking, beach volleyball, archery, rifle shooting, salsa dance lessons, bartending classes, bike riding, and nightly shows...all complementary of Excellence! Not to mention we got to eat all the food we wanted and drink all the alcoholic drinks we wanted at no additional cost. I usually love toting my Burberry bag around, but I used it not once on this trip!

Included in our honeymoon package was fresh flowers, champagne, and fruit waiting for us in our room, a couples massage and hydrotherapy session at the spa, and dinner on the beach. It was amazing! 

I would go back to Excellence in a heartbeat! I think the name says it all! 

Below are a few of my favorite pictures from the trip :-)





Patrick and I then spent about a week at home before we headed down south for our Texas Reception. A lot of Patrick's family and friends weren't able to make it up to Pittsburgh for our wedding, so we decided to go to them!

My parents, sister Kristy, nephew Blayze, Patrick and I flew down together and rented out a house not too far away from where Patrick's parents live. My Aunt Monica and Uncle Joe drove down from Pittsburgh to take part in the celebration as well. We all had a blast!

I was so happy to see my family get to see where Patrick came from! Texas is SO different from Pennsylvania and I'm glad they got to experience that for themselves. While in Texas we visited Patrick's parents house to see the horses and meet their new dog, Angus. We also checked out The Whitte Museum Fiesa Texas, and the Alamo and Riverwalk during Fiesta Week. While back at the house we fished in the pond around back...check out the photos below!

The Texas Reception was very lovely! We had it at the house we rented out. I was shocked at how many people came out! I had met a lot of these people before during a prior visit, but there were lots of new faces too. It was fun to hear all the stories about the mischievous Bailey Boys - haha! We served straight Texas food...brisket, creamed corn, baked beans. It was yummy! I told my parents that they had now officially gotten a taste of Texas! 

One of Linda's friends made us our cool is this?! 

We sure are loved! Thanks to all who helped make this day possible, and thanks to all who came out and took part :-)

Patrick and I celebrated our first holiday as a married couple, Easter Sunday. I kicked off the day by making breakfast for my husband on our new griddler we got as a wedding gift. Cinnamon Raisin French Toast...can you say mmmm?! After we got ready for mass. The rest of the day was spent with my side of the family at my parents house. Now that there are grandchildren in the mix, my mom goes all out there, orchestrating an egg hunt...always fun!!





Later in the month Patrick and I were invited to a meet and greet and concert with Craig Morgan. We both love country music so we were game! The meet and great wasn't anything spectacular...Craig didn't really talk and it was just a line of people waiting for a picture or autograph. I was a little disappointed at it, but he made up for it with his show. I'll just say he must have been saving his vocal pipes - lol! He was amazing on stage! Man can blow! He had the whole place going, he was very entertaining. One of my favorite parts was when he came on stage and his mic was going in and out. He stopped the entire show to get a new one and when he came back he said "Y'all paid good money for my show, I'm not going to put up with anything not being perfect." I thought that was really cool! Opening up for him was Sarah Darling and Due West. Both acts were great!

Patrick's brother, James, graduated from West Point this year. What an accomplishment! These men and women who choose to go there for school take their last four years of real freedom and devote them to others. They go through bootcamp and basic training, they have to wear a uniform every day, there is no sleeping in, and heck, they even have curfews! I felt so proud to have this man as my brother-in-law! Way to go James!!!

The commencement ceremony took place at Michie Stadium. They had snipers keeping watch just in case...

My favorite part was at the end when each cadet threw threw their hat in the air...

Each hat held a note and/or money and all the kids in attendance got to go on the field and catch one! Cousins, Codey and Caila got theirs and it was so sweet seeing them wear them all day!

James took his oath of honor in front of one of his class buildings with one of his favorite professors. His parents swore him in...what a special moment for all of them!

Patrick, Aaron and Andrew got to pin on James' new badges...

After we went back to the camp we were staying at and had a cookout with much fun! It was the weekend of the Apocalypse and I'm so happy my last day on earth wasn't spent living here...

But it did have some nice views...check out the waterfall!

It wasn't SO bad, but having to use a communal bathroom is something I never want to have to do again! LOL! The bathrooms were across the lawn from us which was no fun because I wake up to pee at least once a night - lol! Lucky for me when I did have to get up to go, I got locked out of our place!!! Ugh...I'm just not a camper!

Patrick and I have kept busy with weddings and showers!! Our friends Anne and Neal got married at St. Stanislaus church in the Strip District.


They had 17 flowergirls and ring bears!!! 3 of which were my nieces!Anne and Neal's wedding was awesome! They had such a fun feel to it. Each flowergirl wore a different colored sash and each bridesmaid carried a different colored bouquet of flowers, so the whole event was very colorful and fun!

Following the ceremony was a reception at the P.A.A. and it was so nice to go to a wedding there and actually enjoy it!!

Keeping with the colorful theme...check out their gorgeous cake! It tasted as good as it looks!!

This wedding was so much fun! They had a photo booth for guests to enjoy and instead of a cookie table they had a popcorn bar - can you say sweet?! I love Pittsburgh Popcorn! That was such a fun treat!

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. McGrath! We were so honored to be a part of  your special day!!

The following day, Patrick and I headed to Somerset, PA for our friends Nicole and Josh's wedding. I went to college with both and remember when their friendship became a relationship, so it was so special being there for their wedding!

Nicole is probably one of my most down to earth, no frills about her friends. She's a country girl! She enjoys jeans, a tank top and flipflops with a side of country music and a cold beer! So I had a had time picturing what kind of wedding dress she would wear...gosh did she look beautiful!!!

There was some time to spare between the wedding and reception so Patrick and I went to lunch with my old college roommate, Kristina, and her fiance, Josh. This was the first time Patrick and Josh really got to hang out together and they brewed up a little bromance - haha!

The reception was great! It had a country feel to it - just what I expected from these two being that they requested I wear my new cowgirl boots!! Loved the cake!!

What a great time at this wedding! I felt like I was back in college again! I'm so glad Patrick got to hang out with a lot of my college friends :-) Below are some of my favorite pictures from the night...Congrats Mr. and Mrs. Hickey!!