Las Vegas, Nevada

Kevin and I celebrated our “9 years of meeting each other” anniversary with style in Las Vegas.  It was a short trip, driving over from Phoenix on Friday after work and returning on Sunday afternoon.  We started by checking into our room at the Tropicana, followed by dinner at D.O.C.G enoteca.  Kevin and I are fans of the show Chopped, so we had to dine at this restaurant by Scott Conant.  The next day, we explored the strip and tried our hands at a little gambling in the afternoon.  I had only visited Las Vegas once before, with my mom, when I was about 21 years old– and Kevin and I have never been since moving to Phoenix, though it is less than a 5 hour drive away.  When Kevin and I have a free weekend and something to celebrate, we usually head for the airport, so this was a fun change of pace.

I easily logged my daily goal of 10,000 steps while touring the casinos on Saturday.  In the evening, we watched O by Cirque du Soleil.  I believe this was my fourth Cirque du Soleil show, and I was definitely impressed by the performance, especially the stage, which at times transformed into a pool.   We ended the day with a late  dinner at Mon Ami Gabi.   A quick round or two of Roulette after breakfast on Sunday before heading home?  Sure, why not?

Salem and around Oregon

In between trips to Taiwan and Australia, Kevin and I fit in a visit to Oregon to see beloved family and friends this summer.  The biggest highlight of our trip was celebrating my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary along with my sister’s family.  We took my parents to a fun pub, Gilgamesh, that is located next to the house where my mom grew up in Salem.  Live music made the night even more special, followed by homemade dessert a my sister’s house.  A second highlight was a day-hike to Triangulation Peak with my sister, niece, and nephew.  There is nearly nowhere in the world as beautiful as Oregon in the summer!

Chicago, Illinois

Kevin and I were back in Chicago for the long-weekend.  Though it was April, a thin dusting of snow covered the streets when we arrived (but there was definitely not enough snow to prevent us from walking throughout downtown Chicago as much as possible during our visit).  We enjoyed warmer views of Lake Michigan from inside our hotel room and the cozy executive lounge of The Drake, which is one of our favored places to stay when we visit Chicago.  Kevin and I began the weekend by attending the Legacies & Leaders 2016 event at the University of Illinois.  It was a pleasure to meet the most recent recipient of our scholarship, who was seated at our table.  Helen Klabel, of the College of Business Administration, can be seen in the video at the bottom of this page.  We ended the weekend by celebrating the birthday of Kevin’s godson.  Kevin watched on eagerly as Kaito opened up our gift, a Lego Millenium Falcon.  Good thing that we didn’t have to help him put it together before we left, or we’d still be there!

The 2016 recipient of the Desouza Family Endowment Scholarship: