Friday, March 23, 2007

The bathtub splash

Dominic thinks it’s just great to splash around in the bathtub. If you don’t watch him closely the entire bathroom gets wet.

This is his other favorite bath ritual: drinking the water. Will kids ever learn to not drink the bath water?


Here’s Eliana showing off a few of her new favorite things: her Mary Poppins Broadway t-shirt, her horse head (a weird item, if you ask me), and her St. Patrick’s Day hair band.

The t-shirt’s from her parents, a souvenir from Broadway. And the horse head is from Grandma Snow, a can’t-leave-the-store-without-it toy store purchase while Ellie’s parents were in New York.

Laguna Beach

The sun came out for a few brief precious moments on Sunday while we were enjoying Laguna Beach.

Here are some photos from the frolicking in the ocean.

Afterwards we ate ourselves silly at Olamendi’s. Terrific Mexican food! I highly recommend it.

Cousins and statues and fountains, oh my

While we were in Southern California we stopped at my sister-in-law’s cousin’s garden shop. It wasn’t just any regular type of outdoor garden shop. It was full of marble and granite statuettes and amazing looking rock formations imported from China and turned into fountains.

Their shop is called Rosemead Gardens. If you’re in the neighborhood, I highly recommend it.

Melissa’s mom walked away with a couple items and I purchased a novelty item for our back yard (you’ll have to wait till I get a picture of it to know what it is).

Here are a few photos of the cousins as they experienced Rosemead Gardens.

Another birthday

In a couple of weeks I will have lived longer on my own than I did with my parents. It’s a weird thought, really.

In a way it’s a reminder that who I am and what I’m surrounded by is largely a result of my own decisions.

It’s also a reminder of the good upbringing I had. I’m fortunate to have loving parents who are still together, and to have the guiding influence of faith, virtue and integrity.

I really never went without as a child, although my brother got better nutrition than I, since I was born while my folks were still in college and he came along when my dad was gainfully employed. So alas, my younger brother’s taller than me. But I’m not bitter…

While some choose to downplay birthdays as just another day, it’s my custom to take the day off work and spend it doing only whatever I want. It’s a great personal gift.

I haven’t chosen a project for this year’s special day yet. Keeping true to my friend Becky’s nickname, ‘Project Pete’ must choose something worthy of my grandfather’s expression, “Another fine job by PJC!”

For those of you habitually late in sending birthday greetings, you’ve got plenty of notice. There are still a couple weeks left before my big day.

And speaking of birthdays, we’re excited to welcome another Codella cousin. Brian and Melissa informed the family earlier this month that they’re expecting number four. Still no word on whether it’s a boy or a girl. We’re all hoping for a girl (the odds are in their favor) and that the due date is on the 21st of August, because that would make four kids born on the 21st of a month. So even though the due date is the first week of September, we’ll hope for an early delivery, Mel.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Playing cousins

My brother’s wife and their three boys joined us in Vegas last week. My nephew, Carter, was on a track break from school, so they decided to warm up in sunny Las Vegas. We also followed them to Southern California last weekend to go to Legoland and Laguna Beach together.

Here are a few photos from all the playing that went on last week.

Monday, March 19, 2007

St. Patrick’s Day at Legoland

We took a quick trip to Southern California Friday through Sunday. Saturday we were at Legoland. Sunday we went to Laguna Beach.

It was a whirlwind trip and rather than type my travel log tonight, I’m going to bed. But before I do, here are a few Legoland pictures.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Blogging Vegas named one of Vegas’ top five blogs

my interview on
This week a new Internet-based broadcast company, called, published its list of the top five blogs in Las Vegas.

Blogging Vegas, the blog network run by Codella Marketing (my company) and Image Domain, was named number five.

Sure, it’s no amazing feat. Still, it’s kind of fun to receive the publicity. I’ve already had one previous client contact me as a result of the rankings.

It was fun to be interviewed by and experience what my clients feel like when being interviewed by the media. I shared the same seat with the top-ranked Vegas Popular blog written by the infamous Robin Leach.

You can view The Live 5 review by clicking here or on the image above.

Ranked by on March 13, 2007:

1. Vegas Popular, Robin Leach
2. The Movable Buffet, Richard Abowitz
3. Jack Colton, Jack Colton
4. Las Vegas Vegas, Joe Smith
5. Blogging Vegas, Pete Codella

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The wrestling duo

Some of my fond childhood memories are of watching my brother and sister mix it up after dinner in the family room. It was almost like a ritual that we’d have dinner, then Angie and Brian would end up in the family room wrestling each other.

I, of course, was too grown up and too much of a good example to get involved. But I sure loved watching and egging them on. My favorite was when Brian, nicknamed CB (short for Cryn’ Brian), was finally big enough to stand his ground and actually gain the advantage over Angie.

Inevitably, someone would end up crying and whining to mom and dad that the other person hurt them. Ah, the good ‘ol days.

Lately Eliana and Dominic have been playing better with each other. Although there are four years between them, Dominic’s getting big enough that he can mix it up with his sister. Ellie still dominates, but that won’t last for long (right, Ang?).

Here are a couple photos of one of the latest Eliana and Dominic battles for supremacy.

Visiting the Jensens in Richfield

On our drive back to Vegas from Salt Lake City on Monday we made a stop in Richfield, Utah where my mom grew up. It’s been several years since we were there. My Uncle Russ and Aunt Diane hadn’t even seen Dominic yet.

We enjoyed a delicious, as usual, lunch at my Uncle Lynn and Aunt Sarah’s. The kids enjoyed the time to stretch their legs in the back yard. Tank ran around till he about knocked over Sarah, then he got tied up.

We stayed for a couple hours then hit the road again to continue our journey back home after the extended weekend getaway.

Lynn has struggled this past year with his health, having just come out of yet another surgery. He seems to be in pretty good spirits though, and says he’s still plugging along. He did say he’s not spending another winter in Richfield. It’s been cold there this year. He and Sarah are planning to rent a place in Mesquite or somewhere around there this coming winter.

We figured it was time well spent since my aunts and uncles are getting up there in years and you never know how long they’ll be around.

Soon after we got there Dominic decided to cling on to Sarah. It was cute. He latched on to her leg and gave her a giant hug. Sarah giggled and patted him on the back. I’m sure she was happy to receive the affection.

Here are some photos from our stay in Richfield.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A New York state of mind

Last weekend Vickey and I joined four college friends—two couples we’ve known for years—on an extended weekend getaway in New York City. The idea was hatched last fall while we were at BYU homecoming. And what a great idea it was (yes, it was mine)!

We drove to Salt Lake City on Wednesday to drop the kids and dog off at Grandma and Grandpa Snow’s (thank you!). By the time we got there I had lost my voice due to a sore throat/sinus cold (I’m still recuperating).

On the way to Salt Lake we ate at the Bombay House in Provo—one of Vickey’s favorite Indian restaurants. Then Thursday morning we took a Delta flight to JFK with Troy and Jen (Tyler and Emily met us in NYC after spending some time in Philadelphia).

Our first adventure was getting from JFK to the Times Square Courtyard Marriott where we were staying. I was a little rusty on my subway skills (I lived in NYC in ’96 and ’97), so we ended up exiting the E train too early and had to go up and down some stairs a couple times until we finally arrived at Times Square. Some helpful subway attendants helped us and our luggage (I over packed) get where we needed to be. Then it was a little tricky figuring out which subway exit would be closest to the hotel. But, after two hours, we managed.

The whole time Jen was saying what a fun adventure it was. I think Vickey was thinking, “We should have taken a cab!”

The six of us enjoyed a terrific Italian dinner at Carmine’s then a late-night movie, Music and Lyrics. I’d give the dinner an 8 out of 10. The movie, a 2 (but that could be my tired state of mind and sore throat talking).

Friday morning we took advantage of the “do not disturb” hotel room door sign and the fact that there were no kids to get us up early. After a lazy morning we ventured to Max Brenner, Chocolate by the Bald Man in Union Square (a referral from one of our friends). We were not disappointed! We had an excellent meal—a chocolate smorgasbord, really—and thoroughly enjoyed our time there. They have the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had!

We visited a few places on Friday including Ground Zero, Columbus Circle and the Manhattan LDS Temple. It’s still bizarre to see the World Trade Center site and know I was there every workday for a couple years. I worked at Merrill Lynch in the World Financial Center.

Friday evening we ate at Koi on 40th Street (our concierge was kind enough to secure Friday and Saturday dinner reservations for us). The environment was exciting, edgy and inviting. The food and presentation were great. I wasn’t so fond of the sushi, but that’s not my bag, baby.

Then we were treated to the wonderful Broadway production of Mary Poppins. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the musical. It was very well done. I appreciated that the musical didn’t rehash the movie, but brought a new perspective to the thought provoking story.

Friday night we played games, liar’s dice (it’s Tyler’s favorite), until way too late.

Saturday morning I was determined to explore some new areas. So despite the fact that my voice was also on vacation, Vickey and I scheduled an early wake-up call and took off for Chinatown and Little Italy. There was a striking difference between the hustle and bustle of Chinatown and Little Italy early on a Saturday morning.

We were there for a couple hours and it wasn’t until we were leaving for lunch that there was much movement in Little Italy. The folks in Chinatown were going strong from the moment we got there: “Rolex, Rolex…handbag, handbag…scarf, scarf…” They didn’t say things once, everything was said twice and very fast—it helped us feel like we were in a different country.

We had some amazing gelato and canoli in Little Italy. I got a hair cut at Sal’s neighborhood barbershop while Vickey got her nails done in Chinatown.

Saturday afternoon we split-up to see Wicked and Putnam County Spelling Bee. I’ve seen Wicked and although it’s my favorite Broadway show, I wanted a new experience, or more truthfully didn’t want to spoil my memory of Wicked’s original Broadway cast. I was very impressed with Spelling Bee. It was a terrific production. It was hilarious, had good audience participation and very well staged. The performers were all great.

Following a visit to Rockefeller Plaza we had an excellent between show dinner at Bobby Vans Steakhouse on 50th, then headed to our final Broadway experience of the trip, The Color Purple.

The show was highly recommended but I wasn’t as impressed with it as I was with the others we saw. I wasn’t fond of the lesbian love affair (yes, I saw the movie), some of the costuming was questionable, and I was turned off by the cast shushing one another backstage after the opening number. The gospel music and voices were great, although the score failed to provide any memorable tunes. I’ll be interested to read the reviews once American Idol’s Fantasia takes on the lead role next month.

Small world moment: some people I recently met in Las Vegas are co-producers of The Color Purple, along with Oprah Winfrey. They were going to hire Codella Marketing to do some work for another business venture, but it didn’t pan out.

Of course we stopped at the Times Square souvenir shops.

Again Saturday night back at the hotel we played liar’s dice. By this time we were all feeling a bit worn out and couldn’t stay up as late as the previous two nights. Guess we’re getting older. It’s been 15 years since Tyler, Troy, Jen and I were in Young Ambassadors together.

Sunday morning Vickey and I did a bit more exploring. We found Garrett Popcorn Shops near Macy’s and had to get a bag for everyone. Their popcorn is a favorite of Vickey’s and every time she visits Chicago for a Pampered Chef convention she brings some home. We learned the New York shop has only been open a couple months. Perhaps that’s why we didn’t even have to wait in line, either that or the early Sunday morning hour, or the very cold windy weather (so glad to be back in sunny Las Vegas).

We met-up with our dear friend, Carlos, for Sunday brunch at Max Brenner’s again (yes, we really liked that place). Carlos was in Mamma Mia for a couple years and now plays understudy for the roles in Altar Boyz, he’s the swing and dance captain. Next time we have a New York minute, we’ll see you in your show, Carlos. And again, happy birthday to you!

After brunch it was time to load up and head back to JFK. This time our train ride was only an hour. Partly because we knew exactly what we were doing and partly because the passenger volume was lighter on Sunday afternoon than Thursday evening.

Our flight home was uneventful except for the hour wait we had waiting on the runway to finally takeoff.

We returned to the Snows to find everyone no worse for the wear, except maybe Grandma and Grandpa who seemed pretty tired. Monday morning the kids were glad to see us and Tank was my shadow as I loaded the Sequoia. Tank always gets a bit nervous when we leave for extended periods. He’s a weimaraner, what do you expect?

We had an awesome time in New York City. It was terrific! What added to the enjoyment was that it was just the six of us with no little ones to look after. Sure, we missed the kiddies (at least the girls did), but it was also nice to be on a vacation without them.

We’ll look forward to yearly or perhaps biyearly trips. Keep in touch guys!