a GRAND time

-Whenever I see these 4 words around this time of year I hear Clark Griswald singing it in my head as he's getting ready to light his house. Classic!- 
I love starting new traditions & seeing them become a year after year thing to do.  A couple of years ago we packed up & drove to the BiG City {Salt Lake that is} to spend the Holidays.  We stay at the beautiful Grand America Hotel, it is amazing.  We choose to stay there because of the atmosphere & feel of the holidays. From it's red & green lights on top of the roof to their holiday themed decorated windows throughout the hotel.  
{A small feel of the big apple in SLC} 

-Mace, Em & Audj outside the Grand-

Our trip started by stopping by a new fabulous toy store at the Gateway.  Blinkenstaff's- I've never been in there before but I'll be stopping by there to do some Christmas shopping next year.  It's like walking into Santa's workshop with so many delightful & unique toys. 
-Em spotted this little Wicked Witch doll- so cute!  I think she needs this for her collection. Excited for the movie to come out. We love Elphie in our house -  
-OoMpa- LooMpa!!  Audj & Mace clowning around- 
 Then I spotted something for me to look at & ooh & ahh!  Really... I think I may have a problem ;)  I adore unique pop bottles & when I saw the Nesbitt's Honey Lemonade bottle I just knew it had to come home with this Honeybee!  Actually seeing these bottles actually gave me another idea.... stay tuned! 

- I took home the bottle 4th from the right- so cute!- 
 Another part of our weekend away is eating dinner at PF Changs. The girls love it!  The lettuce wraps, orange chicken & Kung Pao were de. lish & ending the meal with fortune cookies as we look forward to 2013. Fun way to ring in the New Year. 

-Happy girls digging in!- 
After dinner we walked to Temple Square {just a few blocks away but it was freezing!}  So we had to stop into City Creek to warm up. Thank goodness the Nordstorm's 1/2 yearly sale was going on so my hubby could shop.  The girls & I found a way to entertain ourselves while he was checking out.  
-Love my funny girls!- 
 After warming up a bit we headed to Temple Square.  Every time we go there it takes my breath away.  Such an amazing, beautiful place to be for the Holidays.  If you've never been you MuST if you come to Utah- you've never seen trees decorated this way. 

-The Salt Lake Temple standing tall- 
 My girls!  Love this picture of them.  Grateful to be a Mom & to have these amazing, wonderful kids in my life each day. 

-Ty & I- 
We walked over to the Joseph Smith Building & rode the elevator up to the top to get this picture.  My little photographer in the making, Audrey, took it & I just love it!  The Temple spires are so amazing & beautiful.  I marvel all the time at how this building was built years ago by early pioneers.  

-We LoVE to see the Temple!- 
 Thankfully we got on the train to head back to the hotel so we didn't have to walk.  No Jazz fans trying to get to the game so there was lots of room. 
The next morning we had a fabulous breakfast at the Grand- so yummy!  Then we walked around to look at the Holiday windows.  The theme this year was Joy to the World & each window depicted a country & how they pronounce Christmas in their language. 
You started by picking up a pencil & passport & then traveled around the hotel to find the windows & match the language to the country. 

-Audrey & Emily by the Switzerland window display- 
-Macey matching by the Norway window. I really liked this one!- 
-Russia, it was really interesting to see all the different languages, characters & spelling of the words- 
 Another fun thing to see at the Grand is the fabulous Gingerbread house they make each year.  Loved the Chimney this year that was made out of Macaroons.  So clever & cute!  

 The house was Huge!  Mace standing by the colorful, cute entry way.  I could see Miss Mace making one of these one year- she is a talented, creative chef in the making. 

The Q girls by the last holiday window- America.  After the passports were all filed out & you had matched everything you went into the to y shop {Jou Jou} at the Grand to get it stamped before receiving a treat.  This is such a fun place to walk into & explore. The girls had a blast! 

 Standing by the giant candy display at Jou Jou & having fun walking on the giant musical keyboard.  Every time you jump it would go to a different song.  They giggled & laughed alot doing this. 

-Thought it was funny that Audrey wore the hotel slippers around all that morning.  She is a character!- 
-Playing around & having FuN!- 
 After the passports were completed you got to go into the most amazing bakery at the Grand, 
& show it to receive a treat.  They give out their signature Shortbread cookies, this year in the shape of a Gingerbread man, so darling & sweet!  While we were there we also had to sample the Gelato {Mint, Pistachio & Vanilla}  so good! 

-Didn't try it but the ricotta cheese drizzled with Balsamic sounded kind of good- 
& Miss Mace had to try a Macaroon for the 1st time.  They are so good!  They have a wide selection of flavors to choose from.  She choose the salted caramel & it was divine.  

 The bakery also has wonderful things to buy as gifts too. It's always such a wonderful place to step into for all the senses.  It smells amazing, looks divine & tastes fabulous! 

Hope you have had a wonderful holiday & are looking forward to a fabulous NeW YeaR!  What are you doing to celebrate tonight?  Me... I'm celebrating my hubby's 40th birthday & making lots of appetizers, cake & dinner for a family party tonight.  
{Love you Ty!} 
I posted one of my FAVORITE things to have around the Holidays on the H&H FaceBook Page. It's a easy recipe for Shrimp Dip-yummy!  Great for tonight's party or tomorrow while you're hubby is watching Football on TV. 
{he'll be happy- trust me!} 
Off to spend the day with my Schmoopie! 



Natalie said...

Looks like you have been having so much!!! Cute :)

Dave and Jenny McConnel said...

I can't remember why we were in SLC but we were staying at the Little America and I'd heard great things about the Grand's bakery so I walked across the street to buy a few macaroons while I was waiting for Dave to get out of his meeting. My first time having them as well. I bought a few different flavors to try and take back to share with Dave but I ate them all before he got back:)

lesa said...

I love traditions!

Honeybee said...

Happy New Year friends! Thanks for your comments.