Sunday, October 2, 2011

Viva Las Vegas

We are home. Finally. Note to self: the red-eye flight is never a good idea. Sleep is much more valuable than a few more hours of vacay.

On the other hand, we had a wonderful whirlwind trip! I was only in Las Vegas for about 48 hours, and to be honest, that was plenty. It was a bit... overwhelming. Large crowds sometimes freak me out and it was hard to avoid them.

We stayed at the Bellagio which was beautiful. Everything about it, from the Chihuly glass in the entrance, to the indoor gardens, to the pool, was pretty awesome.

Fall decorations, but not fall temperatures :-/ 
Pretty ceiling. And random man in the background, haha.
On Friday (after my disastrous run), we had a few business events to attend, including a fun-filled night at the fair. Okay, it wasn't really a 'business' event, but it was a 'for-fun' event sponsored by my Business Man's business.

We headed out by shuttle to the UNLV football stadium for night of 'Fair Fun'. Midway games, face-painting, caricatures, parades, all sorts of fair food. There was pretty much anything you could ask for! Unfortunately, we got there too late to win any of the stuffed animal prizes at the games.

I might have even gotten an airbrush tattoo. Livin' life on the edge.

Can't wait to wear a dress to school tomorrow and see if my kids notice.
After the fair festivities, we were ushered into the main stadium for a concert given by none other than Don Henley. For an old guy, he can still rock out! We enjoyed it quite a bit. (Though probably not as much as my parents would have.)

Saturday was definitely the best day out of the whole trip. One of my BFF's from college, Rochelle, just moved out to Arizona for a teaching job and she lives only 1.5 hours from Vegas. So she drove up for the day!! I had not seen her since our wedding 15 months ago.

Yesterday was her first trip to Vegas as well, so we did the usual sight-seeing tour. Aka walk around all day long and see how many things we could do/see for free.

First stop? The M&M Store! Would you believe there were four floors of M&M paraphernalia? It was outrageous!

Check out the wall of M&Ms.

And yes, I bought my fair share of over-priced 'special mix' of M&Ms. Including the halloween colored and peanut butter flavored. Would you believe Rochelle had never tried a peanut butter M&M until yesterday?

Why, sure, we'll help ourselves.
We ventured across the street to the New York New York and pretended we were in the big city. We also rode a crazy scary roller coaster here. I seriously thought we were gonna be free-falling across the skies of Las Vegas.

See the red roller coaster going through the 'city'?
Next up was the MGM Grand to see the lions. No joke, there were people in that cage with the lions. I would not like that for my job.

Cute, just like a puppy, right?
We stopped at the ever-famous Bellagio Fountains on our way to the Shoppes at Caesar's Palace.

Our lunch at Max Brenner's Chocolate Bar (located in the Shoppes at Caesar's Palace) was easily the best meal of the entire weekend. 

[Side note: Back in college, there was a restaurant in STL called Bailey's Chocolate Bar that we loved to get all fancied up and go eat at. Specialty desserts that were to die for. I joked with Rochelle on the phone that we should find a place like that in Vegas, and whaddayaknow, we did.]

We started with real food, although we all had our eyes on dessert first. But I'm so glad we didn't skip straight to dessert! 

I had a Southwestern Chicken Caesar Salad with Corn Croquettes. (Think lightly fried balls of spicy corn & cheese.) YUM! It was fabulous. Rochelle and my Business Man both had sandwiches (spicy chicken & steak panini) and were equally impressed. Especially with the waffle fries.

My salad. So good! (Corn croquettes not pictured.)

Rochelle's spicy chicken sandwich, after she deconstructed it. That's how tall it was when it first came to the table.
And then it was time for dessert. It took us awhile to decide - it all sounded so good. Rochelle loves all things s'mores, and well, I just love all desserts, so we went with the Spectacular Melting Chocolate S'mores Sundae

From the menu, "decadent dark chocolate gelato, pure vanilla ice cream, milk chocolate fondue, pure chocolate chunks, marshmallow fluff, & whipped cream. garnished with a toasted marshmallow. served with crispy crepe flakes & white chocolate cream."

Her thoughts: "Why must you make me wait to dig in??"
It. Was. Amazing. There was a roasted homemade marshmallow all across the top, and homemade peanut butter graham cracker brittle pieces all throughout. We absolutely devoured it.

My Business Man ordered himself a Cookies 'n' Cream milkshake. (Pretty typical for him.)

After gorging ourselves, we spent the rest of the afternoon walking around the mall, checking out all the little boutiques and other sights to see.

How tall are you Rochelle? 
This is what happens when I tell them to do a funny pose.
Eventually we found ourselves at a Brookestone store, where we could ease our aching feet. Wearing flip flops around Vegas = bad idea. Where are my orthopedic grandma shoes?

Sadly, the day passed way too quickly and we had to head to the airport to begin our journey of overnight airplane travel. It was so good to see you Rochelle! 


We got back home to the Bean Town about 12 noon (after a 3.5 hour layover in Chicago from 4:30am to 8:00am... fun.) This afternoon was spent napping and doing laundry. Glorious. Here's to a stress-free Monday!


Anonymous said...

It was really good to see u too girl! I miss u a lot and had a ton of fun!!

Cecily @ said...

Awesome pics! I love the "random man in the background," hilarious! I also want to devour that sundae, it looks and sounds incredible. It's been a while since I've had a good ol' sundae loaded with crazy goodness. Sad. Not that I don't have ice cream all the time...

Glad you had fun!

aevansb said...

Sounds like a fun trip!

Jessica @ rerunrunning said...

Yea for the calf tat!!!! I want to know what your students thought!!! I finally had to scrub off mine from the Ragnar... boo. But the kids at school all loved it!!! Especially when I subbed at the "alternative" school. Haha!

That M&M store is so cool! I'd probably set up a tent and never leave. :) I can't believe your friend had never had a pb m&m!!!! Where has she been?! Those are the best things on the planet!!! :)

Great pics! You and your business man are a dang good looking pair! (Even if his crazy pose is a little lacking. haha.)

Sara said...

@Cecily - it was hard avoid people photo bombing your pics. Actually one of the most fun things to do was people-watch while there... we certainly saw people from all walks of life.

@Jessica - The kids didn't even believe me... They were all "so, when does it wash off?" I guess they know me too well. I know, the M&M store was awesome. Surprisingly we left spending under $20.

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