30 June 2009

Vegas Day 3

Our last day in Vegas was a world tour of sorts...starting in Paris. Early that morning, though, we were woken from a deep sleep at the hotel by a blaring alarm and the announcement: "There has been an emergency reported in the building. Vacate your room immediately and do not use the elevators." I'm guessing there were about 5000 people staying on the 60 some floors of the Trump, and we all dazedly herded through the stairwells until we got the all clear. We had to go to the lobby to get a copy of our room key and had to stand in line forever to get back up the elevators. We later heard a kid had pulled the fire alarm. So we were up and ready to go after that! I had always wanted to eat at the restaurant near the Eiffel Tower in the Paris called Mon Ami Gabi, so we went and it was delicious. I had the fluffiest, best omelette and thick, crispy bacon. I think I'd like to stay at the Paris next time I go to Vegas.

After a cruise through Rome and Caesar's Palace (and a couple of purchases at Anthropologie for me), we were off to Venice for a quick walk around the Venetian.

We got the news of Michael Jackson's death shortly after we arrived in Vegas, and all over town, tributes to him could be seen and heard. Most notable was the impromptu shrine around his wax figure that had been pulled outside Madame Tussaud's at the Venetian. Jackson was definitely a figure from my childhood...I remember listening to his Thriller tape with my cousin Jeremy when we lived in Edmond and being too scared to listen to the actual Thriller song because of all the scary effects added to the beginning and end. I don't know what to make of the person he became later in life, but so many of his songs bring back memories of growing up for me and businesses were playing them everywhere we went in Vegas.

I remembered seeing this store on the Jackson interview that ran on TV several years ago, and I remembered him spending a ton of money on the most gaudy stuff ever. The store was playing a tape of that interview when we passed by.

Jackson bought an $89,000 chess board at the Venetian...me, I just bought a $14 creme brulee gelato. We were unaware of the price until we paid, so Ryan made sure I ate every last drop, which wasn't hard...it was yummy.

We walked on into the Palazzo, a relatively new extension to the Venetian that I have never visited before. I have to say I liked it's airy, fun feel even better than the very ornate ceilings of the Venetian.

That evening, we headed to the desert, I suppose, and the Mirage...

...for a Japanese dinner. This place, like Firefly, also had the option of smaller, appetizer-like dishes to share, but we all ended up opting for our own, larger dinners. I had, and would highly recommend, "The Rock," a plate of sashimi-sliced steak that you cook yourself on a really hot rock they bring out to you. Delicious. Accompanied by sweet potato fries, which have, incidentally, been my obsession of late. Everyone else liked their food, too, and we have our friend Pear to thank for suggesting this place as his "favorite Japanese steakhouse in the country."

We walked around the Mirage a bit after dinner. I am not much of a gambler myself, but if I were to play the slots, I would play this ebay machine. ebay and I do in fact have a long, happy and rewarding relationship that I'm sure would rub off somehow as I played.

To me, we saved the best for last on our trip: The Beatles LOVE show by Cirque du Soleil. I had been wanting to see it and it did not disappoint. I guess the last stop on our world tour of the day was England?

If you've seen the movie Across the Universe, (a movie I really like and use in my classes to connect music to poetry and storytelling) you might have a feel for what this show is like...a story and a reflection on history set to the iconic songs of the Beatles. Like nothing I've ever seen before though, and absolutely beautiful.

The show ended with "All You Need is Love" and different shots of the four Beatles running on huge screens all around the theatre. I loved watching the faces of people around my parents' age in the audience...you could tell each song brought back so many memories for them, the way Michael Jackson's did for me, and probably even more meaningfully. If you have a chance and you like the Beatles at all, you should definitely see this show. I would go back a second time. I LOVEd it!

We were up at 5:30 am the next morning to catch our flight home. We got home around 2:30 our time, and I took a nap and then headed to Rogers to get Macauley. So I woke up in Nevada and went to sleep in Arkansas and traveled 1100+ miles that day. It was so good to see my boy and my d-o-g. Next trip to Vegas, I want to take Macauley and maybe stay in one of the hotels like Mandalay Bay that has an awesome pool. This trip, though, was a good one. Good times with good friends. I think many people haven't been to Vegas think it's all feathers and floozies. You can find both there, but there's so much more to see and do in Vegas that doesn't involve debauchery of any kind. (Note: Many of the pictures on these posts are ones I took. Many are not. I hope that's okay.)

Vegas Day 2

What's a vacation without some shopping? For Ryan and me, it's no vacation at all. We spent a good part of the day on Friday at the Fashion Show Mall, a place we'd shopped before. There were tons of sales, and we both got some good stuff. I even left behind a number of things I liked, there was so much good shopping.

The mall is mostly indoors, with shops along the two level terrace along one side.

I found my new favorite store: Madewell. Such simple clothes that really suit my style right now. Sadly, I looked online and didn't find another location anywhere near me...

After some very satisfying shopping, we met up with the Rhoads and headed across the street to the Wynn to check out their well-known buffet for lunch.

We had a really good time there...the food was delicious and decadent and so abundant we all made multiple trips through the line. I don't even know how long we sat there. Well worth the $45 for the two of us.

I had never been inside the Wynn before, and I didn't expect it to be as pretty and colorful and whimsical as it is. I loved the hanging flowers and all the lights.

Then we circled through Treasure Island (we watched the free cheesy outdoor show later that night on our way back to the Trump) and back to the Bellagio. I wanted to show the Rhoads The Conservatory and the lobby.

The Bellagio is also lovely and colorful and has a sense of whimsy as well. I've seen several installations in The Conservatory on my visits, and this one was very cute.

There's a little garden-themed shop nearby that I always like to walk through, and I wanted Steph, who loves sweets, to see the dessert place that has chocolate running through tunnels all around the store. We were still too full from lunch to get anything though.

Such a pretty place. The Bellagio is, of course, best known for its amazing fountain show out front, but I thought these little fountains were sweet.

We then hit a few stores I like in the Planet Hollywood Miracle Mile Shops, including H & M and Urban Outfitters. Then we made the long trek back to the hotel to get ready for a late dinner with my very good friend Molly, who lives in Vegas and has shown me the town several times.

I don't know why I didn't take any pictures, but we had the very best (and least expensive) dinner of the trip at Firefly on Paradise, a tapas place off the Strip that Molly goes to a lot. We each ordered a few things off the menu (bacon-wrapped dates, fries, sliders, soup, mac & cheese, peanut butter & nutella sandwiches) and shared. If you ever go to Vegas, I would highly recommend eating at Firefly. We will certainly go back there (probably more than once, we loved it so much) on our next visit.

29 June 2009

Vegas Day 1

We had a great time in fabulous Las Vegas last week. Ryan and I flew in around 4:00 Vegas time on Thursday and went straight to the Trump International to meet Adrian and Stephanie, who had arrived the day before.

The hotel was really nice (although a progressively more painful walk from the main attractions on the Strip as the days went on), as you would expect. We settled in and unpacked our suitcases into the built-ins, something Ryan and I have only started doing on our last few trips...makes such a difference not to live out of a suitcase.

I got really used to the TV recessed in the mirror...I do not enjoy drying and fixing my hair and getting all ready, but the TV made it so much better.

After hanging out at the pool for a bit, we got ready for our evening and met the Rhoads in the lobby. Ryan teased me about taking a picture of the little checked chair, but I could totally see it worked into the black and white scheme at our house. Cute.

We decided on dinner at Maggiano's in the Fashion Show Mall, just across the street from our hotel. I had been there once before with Molly. We had spinach dip and an order of fried zuchinni as appetizers, and I had a filet with these really delicious scalloped potatoes for my meal. Way too much food. Super rich and yummy. A really great place to eat in Vegas.

Then we walked (really quickly because we had to pick up our tickets at Will Call) to the Bellagio to see O by Cirque du Soleil. I had seen Ka on one of my other visits, so I knew a little bit about what to expect, but O is performed mostly in water. The stage is a pool that changes depths throughout the show. The story was hard to follow, and I think maybe there wasn't really a "story" at all, but rather a series of interesting scenes and stunts, like a circus on an acid trip or something. It's hard to explain...but I did enjoy it.

By the time the show let out around midnight, it was 2 am our time and Ryan and I were exhausted after a long day of travel and fun that had started 19 hours before for us. We walked back to the hotel in a fog and fell asleep to the sounds of Vegas, which don't really change no matter what time it is.


Related Posts with Thumbnails