Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Shenanigans

I’ll be taking a bit of a blogging break over the Christmas Holiday. I may post something depending on how great I feel about using my phone to blog [I’m imagining not so great] and whether or not my kid takes a nap [ha.ha.ha.]. I’m sure I have a lot of things to talk about. I mean, when I do not talk, am I right husband?! But for the life of me I can’t think of anything, probably because I’m listening to this chunk of adorableness tell me she wants a cookie right now.
Going To Work
Why yes, that is a baby scarf.
I know you can’t see it, but underneath her coat her shirt says “Elf Sized”. Seriously, how are you not dying from awesomeness right now?
I do have a question for you guys, but first a little background.
In January, I’m running a 5k benefiting those who need bone marrow transplants. 167519_194821353865564_8280716_n This was actually my very first 5k in 2010 [I ran it with my co-workers at the time].  5K 001
I didn’t get hooked on running at that point, but I do remember feeling incredibly proud of myself.  I’ve ran it every year since. In 2011, I ran it two months after having Lillie while recovering from Mastitis & a breast abscess. I’m pretty sure I went stupid, but it didn’t deter me from running it again this year for some reason. I ran it in January with a slower time than I did right after having Lillie and it made me realize that, “Shit, I’m kind of unhealthy”. It feels like it was the catalyst that started me on this amazing year of running. It seems to hold a little place in my heart and when My Emilie suggested we run it this year, even though it’s a week after my Houston Half I couldn’t turn it down.

But the great thing about this run (other than benefitting those who need marrow transplants!) is that they will allow you to personalize your bib. Which means I don’t have to just be Tamara I can be whoever/whatever I want. But I’m pretty indecisive (at all things) so that’s where you guys come in. I need help figuring out what to put on my bib.

Here’s a few options I’ve chosen, but feel free to leave something in the comments!
What should I personalize my race bib with? free polls 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

13.1 Miles Through Las Vegas

Oh, hi there. I didn’t see you right away since I was a little distracted.

By what? Oh, you know just this little thing I like to call…Medal a motherfucking race medal!

On December 2nd, 2012 I ran my first half-marathon (in Las Vegas!) with this girl right here. 198105_10151185975037690_817442700_nAnita has been an amazing running inspiration to me all year long and when she suggested a few months ago that we run 13.1 miles in Las Vegas I jumped all over it. I mean, hellloooo it’s Vegas! And I’d already been preparing for months to increase my mileage for a half I had already signed up for in January, so why not?  Vegas could totally de-virginize these legs for my first half-marathon. I knew it was going to be hard, but I was up for the challenge. (That’s what she said.)1-12-1-2012We arrived in Vegas, settled into our hotels and tried to make a game plan on heading to the expo to pick up our race bags. It was about a mile down from our hotel, we thought walking it was a great way to check out Sin City. And in true redneck fashion, I started with a nice ol’ round of carb loading.429523_4546347869756_1066910340_n Our friends, Sunny & Blake, came along to cheer me on. (Fun fact: The first time I went to Vegas was with Sunny!)2-Blog Stuff2Things haven’t changed much. Apparently, we’re still lushes.

The walk down to the expo was….interesting. DSC02266We managed to make it to the expo with no Mike Tyson tattoos on our face or lost teeth or tigers in our bathroom. (Dammit, now that would have been a story!) But we did manage to snag our gear and check out all the goodies.1-12-1-20121And then we had to make the trek back up the strip. Which I think may have been more interesting than the way down. Because there was honest to goodness talk about face tattoos (what? they come off in 5 weeks!) and more alcohol consumption (that probably shouldn’t have taken place. oops.) and basically, just a really fun times with some dear friends.


The next morning, Alfred and I were apparently still on Texas time because we woke up at the butt crack of dawn to get some breakfast. It’s so weird to look on the strip and practically no one is out. I could feel the butterflies coming on as I ate my oatmeal and Alfred & I talked about what was happening later that day. I went through the day in a haze – walking here, talking about this, laughing about that. Eating Panda Express and vowing I would be the most gracious person on the race course ever. 20121202135428The full 26.2 marathon began at 3pm and as I was getting ready for my 4:30pm start time I watched them from the window of our room. I then forced Alfred to take pictures of me. Oh, the life of a blogger’s husband, am I right?1-12-2-2012And then when I couldn’t put it off any longer, I headed out to find Anita and walk to our corral. We got there around 4pm and decided to hit up the porta-potties while we waited. We were both way too antsy to just stand in the corral without anything to focus on.

So we focused on peeing.

We’re classy.

We met a really awesome girl who had only ran like 6 miles in the weeks prior thanks to a Roller Derby injury. I wish I would have caught her name, she was really awesome. I mean, roller derby? Bad.Ass.

We were in the 25th corral, I think? I was actually supposed to be in the 34th, but I jumped ahead to start at the same time as Anita even though she had planned on finishing faster than me. I’m glad I did otherwise I would have finished an hour later just because of the wait it took for us to get to the starting line. We didn’t actually begin the run until nearly 5:15pm.

I started out conservatively as I could. One thing I was really nervous about was tiring out too quickly by the end. I felt really great through the first 9 miles. At mile 4ish, I saw the husband who helped pace me for a bit. Props to the brother-in-law who snapped this photo of us. 255038_10151186098772690_1488777835_n And after that, I was on my own. I had a lot to see, I mean, it’s the Vegas Strip at night. There was something to look at all the time. And because it was a Rock ‘n’ Roll Series every other mile or so there was a band playing so you could hear some music. I had my iPod with me but didn’t cut it on until around mile 7 when we got to more of a residential neighborhood – which we later found out from our cab driver was ‘the bad neighborhood’ and that he would have strapped a stack of ribs to my ass & some beer I would have outrun every one. He was an awesome cab driver. We laughed the entire 15 minute ride. Back to the run.

Prior to this race, my longest distance had been 10 miles.   For the majority of the race I felt like this. 725030-1076-0010sI was pumped. I mean, I was doing it. I was running 13.1 miles! I wasn’t first, but I wasn’t last and I felt fantastic. I thought about my family, my friends, my support, all of you. I thought about Lillie. About how one day I’d be able to share this experience with her and maybe coerce her into loving it as much as I do. But mostly, I thought about how far I’d come from the beginning of this year when I could barely go one mile without hurting. How I’m bigger than I’ve ever been in my life, but somehow I’m doing more than I ever did when I was a size 7. How I may have had a wonderful support system (I am so grateful for you all) but when it came down to it – I was the one who laced up my shoes for every run. I was the one who researched training schedules. I was the one who put in the miles week after week when sometimes all I wanted to do was sit on my ass and eat Oreos. 

And then I hit mile 12 and I died.725048-1011-0050s Talk about sexy, am I right? I mean, double chin – Bow-chicka-bow-wow!

I don’t know what it was but I just felt done. It took so much for me to keep pushing, to keep telling myself I was almost done and then when I saw the finish line I just said fuck it. I went for it as fast as I could. (I don’t know what it is, but it seemed like everybody stopped or slowed the hell down at the finish – I mean, what the hell, am I the only one who goes balls to the wall at the end of the race or what?!)724967-1290-0038s My official time was 3:04:27. I had hoped to finish somewhere around the 3 hour mark and I was right on schedule. I didn’t want to push myself too hard and be miserable for the remainder of our days in Vegas. I worked it out just right because the following days I was a little sore, but nothing to write home about. I was actually more sore running the Zoo 10k a month prior and that was half the distance (but twice the hills!) Vegas SplitsYou can see what I was talking about at Mile 12. Fuck you Mile 12. And my Garmin actually had me at 13.19 miles and the race is technically set at 13.1. I think that .09 was me having to swerve around people. It’s amazing how rude people can be in a race. If you’re slow or walking move over (I did) and if you plan on stopping move over. I’m all about people enjoying the time they put into a race and having fun but please be respectful to other people. It’s not much to ask.

A good thing that came out of this run – I apparently am getting much better at jumping shots2-Blog Stuff3Despite it being stupid windy, it was a really great run for me and has left me excited for January where I’m running for The Epilepsy Foundation. Don’t forget if you donate any amount I’ll put your name on my race shirt as a shout-out. All donations are tax-deductible and go to a great cause.

Thanks again to all of you who have commented, called, texted, emailed, thought of me even. You’ve all helped me in this journey in some way and I couldn’t be more grateful.  725064-1011-0026sThere’s more things that happened in Vegas after the run and I may share in the future, but for now – let’s just say

What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas


Black Friday 2012

I can’t figure out how to start this post. Like, should I be all “OMG I GOT SO MUCH STUFF” (I didn’t) or “OMG WTF IS UP WITH THE 8PM START TIME” (but seriously, wtf, right?) I just don’t know where to start. So, this blah blah blahing seemed appropriate I guess. Hey, I never promised I was a ‘real’ writer.

We’ve actually been Black Fridaying it up for years now. And by we, I mean Alfred’s sisters/family and I. The first year I went I bought nothing. I was like 20 and had no money. And then the second year I bought a shirt. Yes, you read that right. A shirt. I woke up at 3am to buy a shirt. Lame. But something magical happened that following year, and I found my groove. I learned to look over the ads, to focus my time on items we truly wanted & make a game plan. We’ve gone with as little as 4 people to as many as 8. We’ve used walkie-talkies, we’ve loaded down 3+ vehicles, we’ve drank our fair share of margarita’s and we’ve all complained our little hearts out that we’d never do this again knowing full well it’s a lie.

Black Friday gets a bad rap because some people are fuckfaces and can’t control themselves. Like if they don’t get that $78 television their life is going to end. We don’t play that game. We go for the fun, we go for the laughs, we go to [hopefully] score some good deals, but if we don’t – no worries, we’ll get’em next year. And this year was no different.

We started out like we normally do – scouring the ads looking for our most wanted items. The picture is blurry because we’re just that fast at finding the best deals. Also, my SIL wants to remind you to have peace where ever you may be.20121122135306

I only had one goal. A trampoline. And it was right there in Wal-Mart’s fancy ad ready for some sweet, sweet Tam loving at 8pm on Thanksgiving night. I do think it’s pretty lame that the sales are starting earlier & earlier. But it obviously didn’t stop me. 20121122182124Last year we decided to go to a much larger Wal-Mart for our Black Friday needs and it was ri-dic-ulous. People were literally fighting over sheets. People were elbowing, shoving & screaming. It was madness. So, we opted to stick to the lesser known [but well known to me – I gots the hookup] hometown Wal-Mart this year. We showed up around 5:45pm just to scope out the layout of the store. Get our plan into action & whatnot. When I walked in, there were 13 trampolines available – 3 of them were already occupied. I decided to look around a little [Steam Mop bitches!] and when I came back about 10 minutes later – 2 more people were hovering over my beloved trampoline. So, I did what any logical person would do – I put my hand on one of the boxes, proclaimed that this particular trampoline was my bitch & sneered at anyone who got close to me. I stayed that way until nearly 8pm. And then at 7:57pm the madness ensued. Someone started cutting off the plastic wrap and the game was motherfuckin on.20121122200021Because I had such a huge purchase (literally, the box was huge) I had to ask the store to help me load it so, I was stuck in one spot waiting. But no worries, as my amazing SIL’s raced through the store to grab their items and mine as well, as I hovered over everything like a momma bear protecting her cub. I may or may not have attempted to slap someone’s hand who reached for my pile. We finally managed to get out of the Wal-Mart line by about 9:15pm only to get back into it at 10pm for some separate sales that started at that time. Nothing for me, but I did do my fair share of running around for other items while the SIL’s stood in their $78 television line (which they both totally got). I managed to score a wireless printer for our friend Karri who came down to shop with us from the Austin area.

Once we were safely out of the store, we loaded up our goodies and made our way to Waco (it’s about a 30 minute drive) to get settled into our hotel and see what other store shenanigans we needed to get into. We had to get a little energy though, and what better way to do that than grab a bag of popcorn.20121122232551

I think we all pretty much got everything we were hoping for, so from this point on – we were just going to go. Which made it nice, but then we totally ended up losing that adrenaline rush we live for. You know, where you wait in line, counting the people ahead of you, staring at your watch as the seconds go down and then the door opens and the mad dash begins.

Totally exhilarating.

After our popcorn, we hit up some Kohl’s but dudes, that line was ridiculous. I mean this picture doesn’t do it justice. Those are people 4-5 wide and wrapped all the way around the end of the block. We stood in line for 15 minutes and it wasn’t even over with before we got in the store. Luckily, they have a pretty good system and the wait to check-out didn’t take very long at all. 20121122235733 In the meantime, My Emilie was doing some shopping of her own and helped us out by grabbing a few things from Toys ‘R’ Us. She’s a rock star. I can’t believe she managed to get all that. If any of you shop, you know Toys ‘R’ Us is pure madness. Here’s a horrible picture of the line from Toys ‘R’ Us last year where I stood in line alone for like 3 hours before I even made it into the store.20111124211734At some point we were done wandering around everywhere and headed back to the hotel, where everyone ended up falling asleep…except me. We didn’t really have anywhere to be until 5am and had a couple of hours to kill, so why not, right? I mean, that’s why we got a hotel. I did accidentally fall asleep mid-tweet without realizing it though for nearly 20 minutes. Luckily, I had set my alarm on my phone just in case. I know, I know, I’m a genius.

I dropped my SIL, Chrisa, off at Academy & I headed to Home Depot. My Emilie was actually at the front of the line ready to go buttfuck crazy on a fool for her Christmas Tree, but I believe in etiquette and refused to attempt to ‘cut’. Especially after my reaction to a couple trying to do that last year. Besides, what I was grabbing wasn’t a must. It was just a hope. I’d mention it, but the husband’s friends potentially read this blog. Le sigh, am I right? I know it must be killing you. Props out to Home Depot though – they had someone handing out store maps where you could see where all the items on sale were located at. I knew exactly where to run too. They were also giving out hot chocolate. I was in and out of there in 15 minutes.

I headed back to Academy to help Chrisa with what she wanted and somehow managed to walk by an item that I wanted 3 times without realizing it. And no, it wasn’t hidden. It was right there on an end cap with a big white sign. Although, to be fair it was camouflage – so maybe it was kind of hidden? Anyway, at this point I had 20 minutes of sleep in the past 24 hours and still looked like a model…of horror. 20121123055146Okay, kids, now this is something you will only encounter once a year on a magical day called Black Friday. Do not be alarmed by the bags under her eyes, the fro on her head or the look on her face. She’s just what we call a hot mess.

Say it with me now kids – HOT MESS.

We wasted too much time in Academy getting something that (once again) I should not mention because it may possibly give away the surprise. I doubt it, but I don’t want to be the cause of hatred during the upcoming Christmas celebrations.

We headed to the mall after the Academy debacles where a coveted (not nearly as much as the trampoline though) pool table was in the mix. We walked out empty handed, but I was much warmer after scoring a purple $20 pea coat. As I typed purple I thought ewww, but it’s cute, guys. I swear.

Purple peacoat

From there we managed to go back to Kohl’s. I don’t even remember for what – other than to maybe look around and see if anyone dropped anything off with a last minute change of their mind. Which we also did when we went to Target. You’d be surprised at what you can find stuffed in the aisles leading up to the check-out area. I found a few stocking stuffers, so basically wasting my money on things that we’ll throw away in about 3 weeks.

Overall, it was a really great Black Friday. I was able to spend time & laugh with my sister-in-laws, get a few great gifts & not worry one bit about my daughter. (She was with her Granny & Pap Paw playing with her cousins – she had a blast!) I think what kind of threw it off for us was we pretty much all got what we wanted at our first stop, Wal-Mart. Everything else was just kind of there for the heck of it. Also, with stores already open and waiting for us it took away that rush of running through the doors. Last year, when I got my Christmas Tree from Home Depot, I managed to snake my way through the crowds and grab the second to last one. It was fantastic.

I’m never as skinny as I am on Black Friday, dodging and weaving my way through crowds – I’m like a ferret. Or a cat. Let’s go with less ferret and more cat. They smell better.

So, #TeamTamara is retired for 2012, but is already looking forward to 2013! You know, as long as we’re not all dead or in the zombie apocalypse because of the Mayan calendar.

Monday, December 17, 2012

No Place Like Home: Where I Live Now

I had started this post before the tragic elementary school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut but I wanted to say a few words before I get back to my regularly scheduled programming.

I wanted to write something meaningful, deep – something that would inspire people to stop blaming gun laws, education, media, whatever avenue they were trying to go down in an attempt to understand why this happened. But I am just as lost as the next person. Because there is no way to fully understand why this happened – the only person who may have truly given us a glimpse into it is gone as well. We will always speculate but I don’t think the answer is not in “What could we have done differently” or “Who can we blame” – it’s in ourselves and how we lead our lives. Whether you turn to your child to give them an extra hug, or an educator to thank them for taking care and loving our children as their own, or to God in hopes He will be able to provide peace not only to you but to everyone affected by this – please just take a moment to be grateful for what you have. It may not always be much, or what you want – but it’s something. And right now, that’s a whole lot more than some have.

Linking up again with Katie & Holly to talk about…

Where I Live Now

I live in a place where pasture parties are the norm.1-9-28-20121 I live in a place where I can walk outside butt-ass naked if I so choose. Backyard I live in a place where taking your 1 year old on a four wheeler is not frowned upon. 20120712203630I live in a place where the lazy part of my brain & the feeling accomplished part often clash.3-Blog StuffI live in a place where you count down the days to hunting season.5-Blog Stuff1I live in a place where if you don’t drink Dr. Pepper then, fuck you.IMG_20120830_143826I live in a place where best friends love your kids like they’re the ones who gave birth to them.DSC01551 I live in a place where I never, ever want to give up homemade chili-cheese fries.20121109202146But mostly, I live in a place where I’m constantly having to be grateful for this amazing life I have. Trampoline Fun

Friday, December 14, 2012

No Place Like Home: Where I Come From

I was really excited about this link up with Katie from State of Change & Holly from Perfectly Imperfect Holly and then I went to Vegas, took my kid to the doctor, drank two bottles of wine & pretty much forgot about everything that wasn’t in my bubble. But, because Katie is fantastic she said I could link up late – which is totallllly what’s happening.

The prompt for this particular post is

Where I Come From

I wish it were so easy as to say “I come from a little ol’ place called Rosebud, Texas.” (Which I do.) But the truth is, we moved around a lot growing up - Utah, Arizona, Kansas. And so, I like to think I came from all these places. I made friends, I learned lessons, I had heartbreak, I witnessed extraordinarily ordinary things, I gained perspective, I grew up. I became me.

Texas: I was raised here during my early childhood. I remember sunny days, swimming, skiing on the lake with my best friend, Janna. I remember playing in a huge dirt pile where my sister got ringworm because we filled up our pants with dirt so we looked like a fat cat. (I wish I could show you the image in my head, it is hilarious.) I remember winning a bicycle at a local movie theatre and then 3 weeks later it being stolen from our garage. I remember following around the ice cream truck on our bikes (not the new one, it was stolen, remember?) and not ever telling my mom where I was because she always seemed to know.

Utah: I lived with my grandparents for a bit – my grandfather a Baptist preacher. I remember going to church every Sunday & Wednesday and loving it. I remember reciting the 23rd Psalm in front of the church at age 7 and being terrified but so proud. I remember sleepovers with my friends. I remember meeting Sarah from Alaska and thinking she was the coolest person ever. (We bonded over Goosebumps books & a video game called ToeJam & Earl.) I remember public swimming pools & Mormons. I remember seeing my mom again for the first time after nearly a year. She was holding gingersnap cookies and pushing my sister on a swing. I remember living in an underground apartment that we called “The Dungeon.”

Arizona: I remember cousins & uncles. I remember tarantulas. I remember being bullied by a boy named Tim. And taco sauce being squirted all over my fancy pink & purple shirt on purpose during recess. I remember eating my first vegetarian sandwich (so weird, that in 5th grade I had a friend who was a vegetarian) and sleeping over on a trampoline. I remember crying when I was told we were moving to…

Kansas: I remember middle school dances. Lifelong friends. I remember having purple hair & first boyfriends. I remember my first kiss. I remember falling in love with theatre. I remember sadness & tears. I remember living in a pink house on a dead end street. I remember playing on the internet chat rooms for the first time. I remember feeling confused when the ‘popular’ girls started trying to hang out with our group of friends. I remember seeing Titanic. Again. And again. And…again. I remember feeling smart & capable & loved by not only some of my closest friends who had seen me & my family at our worst but by teachers as well.

Texas: We moved back to Texas right before I began high school. I remember becoming best friends with Janna again. And late night phone calls to boys where I was forced to sing Barbie Girl over and over and over again. But you know, always as the voice of Ken. I remember band practices. I remember proms & boyfriends. I remember yearbook. I remember being mascot. I remember people telling me dating Alfred was a mistake. (Showed you mofos, didn’t I!) I remember holidays, weddings, births… I remember everything from the past 10+ years I’ve been here on Texas soil.

So, those are the places I come from – but really, I think I mostly come from my memories I take away from those places. I learned to be kind to the new kid in school. I learned to stand up for myself. I learned that being funny & sarcastic were excellent diversion tools. I learned that if you give people a chance, even those ‘nerdy’ people that no one likes, you’ll meet some amazing people and learn some amazing things in your life.

And then, one day, you’ll get to pass on all that knowledge, all that learning to one very precious little girl. I wouldn’t change a place or a thing to where I came from. Because without all that – the good or the bad – I wouldn’t be who I am and who I want to be.DSC02103

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Random Thursday 12.6.12

 thursdaybutton1 Linking up with Em, Lin & Sarah to talk about …


  1. French Fries & a Milkshake. Preferably a chocolate one. When I lived in Kansas, our home was like 100 feet away from an A&W [we actually would sneak & cut through our neighbors yard, haha!] We don’t have these fantastic fast food restaurants in Texas [sigh] but they had the best fries. Maybe I’m disillusioned seeing as I was only like 12 at the time, but seriously amazeballs. I used to pilfer through the couch cushions & random change left on the washing machine to make sure I had enough money to go for a visit. And like any big sister would do, I did not tell my younger siblings where I was going for fear I would be forced to share.
  2. Peanut Butter Sandwich & Nacho Cheese Doritos. During the second trimester of my pregnancy I’m pretty sure this is what I ate for dinner nearly every evening. Chunky peanut butter, whole wheat bread & Nacho Cheese Doritos. It was miraculous. I’ve cut back on the amount, but this is still a staple in my lunch time diet. Which probably explains why I still weigh the same as I did 6 months ago despite countless miles I’ve put in. Sigh.
  3. Mild Cheddar Cheese & Dr.Pepper. I don’t know what it is about cutting off a hunk of cheese and chasing it down with a cold-ass Dr Pepper, but it’s totally amazing. I don’t do this often because I will seriously eat an entire brick of cheese once I get started. And then I’ll be not shitting bricks for weeks. No bueno.

What are your weird food habits?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Guest Post: Top 5 Things To Do In Vegas!

So, if you've not been keeping up with my shenanigans [shame on you!] then you don't realize I am currently residing in Las Vegas wobbling around after running my first half-marathon. Since I'm out-of-commission and will either be in a very intoxicated or very sore [probably both] state I've asked Meg from You're Meaghan Me Crazy [seriously, is that blog name not awesome!] to guest post! She is one of those amazing people you talk to for 2 minutes and you're hooked! Completely genuine & friendly. So be kind to her, otherwise I may have to stab you with a spork. You've been warned.

hey I'm Meg from you're meaghan me crazy and I am super pumped to be writing a guest post for the fabulous Tamara!
ps. how freaking jealous are you that she's in Las Vegas right now??

so Tamara's been like a running machine lately and since I don't think I could run 2o feet without passing out, (and considering where she is) I figured I could write up a little wish list about things I would do in Vegas if I ever got to go there.

first, I would definitely go to a casino.  not for long or else I'd have to sell everything I own (which isn't much) to get outta there.

I would be totally be all over the Bellagio.  and yes, mostly because it is the only one I recognized when I googled casinos in Vegas..
I went to my first casino in Niagara Falls but it would be nothing compared to this one.  apparently there are no windows or clocks so you never know what time it is or how long you've been in there.

without a doubt hands down I would be all over the cirque du soleil.  I've never seen them but I think I would have to go for the Zarkana one.

I have only ever heard amazing things.  the shit those people can do blow my mind!


please please please tell me you've heard of Jeff Dunham!!



I don't have a clue how he got famous but I could spend hours watching him on youtube.  seeing him live would be unbelievable!  if I couldn't see him I would definitely see a comedian of some sort.

he's a ventriloquist and has a bunch of different characters and he's unreal at their voices.  if you've never heard of him it is sooo worth a google.


technically according to google maps it's about 50 minutes away but I'd check out the hoover dam.  hands down one of the most amazing things ever.  it fascinates me.  

google it for 5 minutes and you will be impressed.  not only would the views be amazing but I'd love to take a tour and actually learn about it and how all that crap works.

most importantly, I would walk around.  I would go and explore the strip and wander into strange shops and restaurants and just take in as much as I could!

my biggest regret when I went to NYC was spending too much time in chain stores that are every wheres and not nearly enough time just wandering.

you can not say that pic doesn't look amazing.

I know this is only supposed to be the top 5 things I would do but lets be honest here, a cocktail or two or 10 would most definitely be in order every night/afternoon and was going to be my number one but I had to make this post appropriate.

well if you're still reading thanks! 

tamara, you're a tank, I can't believe you are running a half marathon! you rock dude, seriously.