Monday, February 4, 2013

Vegas baby!

Back to life, Back to reality....

Last week, Ryan and I took our first parent only vacation since we had J.  Our destination? Las Vegas!  Ryan had never been and it has been about 10 years since I went, so we decided to head out west.

We planned to meet our vacation buddies there (a couple whom we met on our honeymoon and have since taken a couple trips with.)  As always, we had a great time!

Our first day started out with a day trip to Hoover Dam.  We were lucky to have a rental car at our disposal, so we took off for the day.  The dam is pretty incredible. It also elicited a myriad of corny "dam" jokes, which we still chuckle over.  And now the Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge is open.  From atop the bridge, the views are spectacular!

Hoover Dam as seen from the Pat Tillman bridge.

The Patt Tillman Bridge. 
We followed up the dam with a drive into Red Rock Canyon.  This was probably the most unexpected bonus of the trip to me.  When I think of Vegas, I don't usually think of gorgeous scenery and breathtaking landscapes.  But, right outside of Vegas are some incredible sights.  Had we been better prepared, we probably would have spent a whole day out in the canyon hiking and taking it all in.  We saw as much as we could and marveled at all the people who go to Vegas and never know what they are missing only a few miles away.

After a full day of sightseeing, our first day of Vegas was far from over!  We went for dinner at a lovely litte cafe inside the Venetian Casino.  We ended up eating dinner there every night of the trip.  The selection was large, the service was great and the food was delicious! 

 The Venetian.  Ryan's favorite Hotel (by far) and home to our
favorite dinner destination!  Beautiful!
After dinner we hit the Beatles Love Cirque De Soleil show at the Mirage.  I don't know if any description that I would write here could do this show justice! The music of the Beatles was brought to life through gorgeous lighting, dancing and costuming.  It was breathtaking. I enjoyed it very much and received a few jabs to ribs from the hubby for singing along at a volume that he must have deemed too loud.  Apparently he didn't appreciate my rendition of the Beatles classics.  Sadly, picture taking and videoing at Love is strictly prohibited (they had an usher on hand whom we dubbed the camera nazi), so I have no pics of the show.  Which is fine since it is etched into my memory!
Our second day in Vegas started with a trip to the Mandaly Bay to see their aquarium.  It boasted having the world's only hammerhead shark.  Which we never saw.  But, we saw a variety of other interseting sea creatures and it was a fun activity for the morning. From there we headed to the Luxor. Ryan wanted to try the "best burger in Vegas" at The Burger Bar (as seen on Food Network).  The burger did not disappoint and Ryan left full and happy.  That evening, we made an impromptu decision to see Mystere (another Cirque show) at Treasure Island.  Mystere was also an incredible show.  Very different from Love and I think we picked two shows that went together well.  They both featured different things and had a totally different style.  I immensly enjoyed them both. 
And as if seeing an awesome show wasn't enough, that was the night I fell in love.  With a pair of shoes.

Now, my husband was not thrilled with these shoes.  But I adore them.  I am actually wearing them now.  After much agonizing over whether to bring them home, I pulled the trigger.  So glad I made them mine.  But, I digress.....
Our last day in Vegas was spent exploring the strip.  Our hotel (the Vdara in the City Center) was located near the Bellagio.  A brief walk from our lobby over a sky walk into the Bellagio and we were on the strip.  We ventured as far North as we could and then doubled back to the South.  We played $1 on penny slots in each casino.  Ryan was the big winner.  He won 900.  Pennies that is!  I don't think we will ever be mistaken for high rollers!  I think we walked for about 4 1/2 hours that day (and boy, it felt like it too!)
All in all, it was a great trip.  We got a break from the harsh mid west winter.  We saw incredible sights.  Ate too much and laughed too hard. But, as always,  it was good to come home too! 
 The strip at night.

 Paris all lit up.

The cheesy pic that Ryan took as a joke that ended up being
the only good pic of me from the entire trip. Go figure.