Our flight arrived after a quick 45 minutes from LA to Las Vegas! My brother’s flight arrived within minutes of us and since it was Zack’s birthday…we treated him and his friend to a limo ride down the strip and to our hotel.
We all had a blast on the short but sweet weekend. It was fun for us to watch Zack and his friend Cheeto wide-eyed as they took in the “larger than life” strip of casinos, bars and restaurants…not to mention the people watching.
We walked through several different casinos to show the boys around while making sure to gamble in each. Mirage, Caesar’s Palace, Bellagio, Paris, Cosmopolitan and Venetian to name a few. We had dinner at Mon Ami Gabi (www.monamigabi.com/Vegas) , a restaurant with a patio facing the Bellagio water show, while eating steak and drinking wine. Giff quickly found a partner to stay up until all hours of the night in the casino…I think all three boys got maybe 10-12 hours of sleep over the three-day weekend.
After too much gambling, many cocktails and having a blast at this adult playground they call Las Vegas…the weekend had come to an end. Zack and Cheeto left on an early morning flight and Giff and I relaxed a few more days at the Wynn casino before boarding our quick flight back to L.A..
We checked into Amber’s place today…she is on her honeymoon, so offered her place for us to stay the week which works out perfectly for us.
We got settled in at Amber’s place and started creating our check list of things to do before flying out of the country. Over this past week, we went to many doctor’s appointments both for my check ups but also for normal stuff like the dentist and cholesterol blood tests etc,. Being that our next destination is to New Zealand and Australia, we focused on getting it completely booked online while we had Internet. We dropped off things we didn’t need to our storage unit, as well as got all our clothes washed and re-packed. We of course also saw friends for dinner and ran last minute errands.
Tomorrow our flight leaves for Auckland, New Zealand…home of the Rugby World Cup for 2011 and we have tickets!!
Published by Giff Kabat
I grew up in Ohio as a kid, so of course I went to college at “THE” Ohio State University. I graduated in 2001 with a major in business finance. A month after graduation, I moved out to California with my college girlfriend (whom I married in 2005)…and started my career in sales (industrial sales for 5 years…then moved into medical laser sales for 4 years).
In 2009 I was 31 years old. I had a great job, a new house, and a beautiful wife. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any better…my wife and I found out we were going to have a baby. Everything was going according to plan…and I couldn’t have scripted a better life for myself.
Then in the same year…everything changed. My wife, Brandey, called me when I was on my way to work and told me over the phone, something I never thought could be possible in a million years. My beautiful 30-year old pregnant wife was just told that she had breast cancer. At that moment, everything stopped all at once. I immediately went to her…and learned of our new plan…which began with her needing surgery immediately…and the rest we would find out later.
The day we returned from the hospital after Brandey’s surgery…my father died. He had been battling an aggressive cancer of his own…and although he was the one person I wanted to speak with about Brandey having cancer…I never told him. My sister, Brooke, had just gotten married a few months ago, and although he was weak, he was able to walk his little girl down the aisle of her wedding. On the night before my sister’s wedding, Brandey and I told him that we were pregnant and about to make him a grandfather. It made no sense to tell him that everything had changed for us…so he died in peace knowing everything was “the way it should be” for his only 2 children.
2010 was the worst year of my life. We had lost our baby…and for 12 months I watched my wife fight cancer with multiple surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation treatments, and drug therapy. It was a difficult year for us…but we made it. When you go through something like this in life, you learn a lot about yourself and the people around you. I was amazed at the strength and courage of my wife…and how many good people there are in this world. I will be forever grateful for the ones who never ceased to amaze me with their kindness during this hard time. Family, friends, and sometimes complete strangers…helped us make it through this. I am, and will always be especially grateful to my mother, who was with my dad at the very end, when I couldn’t be there, and when things were at their worst. She has been so supportive throughout all of this, and without her everything would have been so much harder for me.
It’s 2011 now…and the plan we have for our life this year…is to make it the best year of our lives. Brandey is officially in remission from breast cancer and she has a 95% chance the cancer will never come back. Besides the love that I have for my wife and family, the loves of my life are food, wine, and adventure travel. My wife and I love traveling to new places, seeing natural wonders, and meeting new people from different parts of the world. So for the next 400 days…we’ve decided to travel the world…and celebrate our lives. There are so many things I took for granted in life that I will never take for granted again. My father worked for over 30 years at the same job with the same company…rarely took time off…and died at 64 years old right after his retirement. For me, this trip is a combination of a tribute to him, along with wanting to spend the time of my life with the “love of my life.”
* The only thing I will miss while we are gone is our family and friends (who we hope will meet us somewhere throughout our trip) and especially our 3 little kitties we left with my mom in Ohio to catsit for the next 400 days. I will also miss watching “American Football” over the weekend…but I’ll do my best to check the scores in the middle of the night.
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