Tuesday, September 07, 2010

The Vegas Recap

Jason and I spend the long weekend in Las Vegas, we flew in Friday, checked into our hotel, which was fancy, modern and lovely.  I picked it because it was nicely priced on Expedia and it was an all suites hotel that guaranteed a king sized bed.  (I'm kind of "over" the full sized bed co-sleeping for a while.)

We dropped our bags and then went out to find dinner.  In Las Vegas, at 10:30 pm the only challenge about finding a place for dinner is finding one you WANT to eat at, and one where the lines aren't horrid.  We weren't interested in buffet, so we ended up at The Todd English Pub.  I don't really know who Todd English is, but he had multiple restaurants around town and they seemed quite "special".    His place in the Bellagio was very pretty, but we dined at the pub.  Regrettably , pub food isn't his forte.  Jason's dinner was less than thrilling and it was obvious that my fella wasn't happy with his $19 burger.  I liked my "GRI-BRE-BAC-TOM" (grilled gruyere, brie, bacon, and tomato) sandwich, but it wasn't mind blowing.  We might simply have been tired, but I think the food was marginal.

After dinner we hiked over to the Bellagio and watched the fountain show.  It's funny how entertaining that fountain is, they do a marvelous job of (what I guess you would call) choreography.  We watched it twice and then headed to the Venetian to have a drink and then back to our hotel.  I don't stay out until past midnight very often anymore and I was zonked.

Before bed I took a dip in the modern tub in our bathroom.  The sleek lines appealed to me, and the ability to soak my entire person was very relaxing.  

The next morning, we stepped out into the 100 degree heat and lumbered over to the bigger hotel that was next door to our nice, but boutique hotel and made our way to the non-buffet breakfast.   I enjoyed my Belgium waffle with fresh fruit and added some chicken sausage for protein.  I'm not really sure what happened, but I think I didn't chomp the sausage well enough because my waffle sat in my stomach until I had to go throw it up.   I still felt full, in fact, I felt better after throwing up so once Jas was done with his steak and eggs (that he really liked) we headed out to explore the ever changing strip. 

Within an hour, my lack of breakfast turned into a real issue.  I had a cold clammy sweat and needed to find a place to sit.  Unless you're eating, or gambling places to rest are few and far between.  I found myself in a stall in a toilet in the Bellagio hotel with my head dripping with icy sweat and my hands were shakey.  Not thinking clearly I pulled out my iPhone and thought that if I sat there for a minute or two that I would even out.  (The iPhone was to entertain myself)   I realized I was having an issue when my fingers were so clammy that the iPhone wouldn't register my touch.  Finally, with the reality of the low blood sugar hitting me I found Jason and told him I needed help.  Mostly, I just needed to eat.  So, and hour after paying $50 for breakfast we plunked down $18 for a sandwich and a soda.  I could only eat half, but it evened me out within 30 minutes. 

Before the end of the day, we found a Walgreen's and purchased some protein bars to have on hand.   Silly me for not having one in my purse anyway. 

We spent our day exploring the hotels, casinos and malls.  We spent our gambling money at the swatch store on some fun watches and then we made our way to the Kate Spade store.  You know, I'm not a huge follower of brands, but I love KS purses and wallets.  They please the girly side of me.   We think we passed three separate Tiffany & Co stores.  At one point we were confident that there were more Tiffany stores than Starbucks, but once we got out of the SUPER EXPENSIVE malls we found the starbucks.  Heck, in MGM there were three separate Starbucks (that of course don't honor starbucks coupons or gold member discounts...)  In addition to not honoring the gold member discounts the lady at the MGM overcharged me.  I find it strange that I could pay $18 for a waffle but was irritated by a 50 cent overcharge for my latte.

In the mid afternoon, after a non-lunch of cheese, salami and bread at a wine bar (iced tea for the mommy) we zipped back to our hotel and ran to the pool.  Oh... to dip into the pool when it is 107 degrees outside.  I didn't care that the other pool patrons were the 20 something super fabulous chic crowd.  I was in love with the cool(er) water and my tall iced diet coke.  Jason didn't mind sipping his gin n' tonic in the pool either.   We did marvel at the shoes that many of the girls were wearing to to the pool in their swim gear.  We saw these shoes EVERYWHERE.  I'm impressed at the ability to walk and strut in these horrifically high shoes.  Many of the girls pulled them off well, a few were hurting and you could tell by the heavy walking, but we saw them in the casinos at 1 in the afternoon, and at 1 in the morning... I couldn't do it.  NO way, no how.  I used my pregnancy as an excuse to wear my supportive athletic tennis shoes.  When we dressed for dinner I wore sandals, but not the ones with the super high heals.  Let's not forget I'm no longer 20.

Anyway, the pool was wonderful and a nice pre-dinner activity.  We cleaned up, put on our party gear (me in a linen dress and above noted sensible sandals,  and Jason in nice shorts with a silk bowling shirt) and headed toward the MGM where our 8:30 dinner reservation awaited.   We explored the hotels on that end of the strip and spend some time and $$ in the M&M store.  Damn the cute baby clothes.  Had they had a maternity top where the baby bump was the M&M I would have plunked down $$ for that too, but I guess the knocked up are few and far between in Vegas.

We were really looking forward to dinner and had planned it for ages.  I am happy to announce that it was not in anyway disappointing.  In fact, I don't think anything was more perfect.  We are TopCHEF fans and Tom Colicchio is a judge on the show has a restaurant in Las Vegas - so we wanted to check it out for ourselves.   CraftSteak is aptly named, it is a steak house and you had better bring your wallet.  The "so so" steaks start at $52 and zip up in prices to $150.  I doubt there is a so-so steak at this place, but the more the price the more amazing the meat.   We noticed when we were walking in that they were participating in "Restaurant Week" and that for a fixed price they had a fixed menu.  Many of the marque places were doing it and mostly they had three options - a salad, an entree and a make-shift dessert.  But not this place, holy mackerel our meal was lick the plate good.  I swear, we didn't opt for the prix-fix meal because of the price, but there's no way we could have had all that food for less than $400.

Here's the menu:

First Course
  • Shaved Fennel Salad Lemon, Olive Oil
  • Vermont Quail Quince Saba
  • Italian Buffalo Mozzarella Hazelnuts
  • Persian Cucumber Salad Watercress, Ginger
Main Course
  • Prime Beef Flat Iron
  • Grilled Angus Skirt Steak
  • Diver Sea Scallops Lemon Vinaigrette
Side Dishes
  • Yukon Gold Potato Purée
  • Organic Baby Shiitake Mushrooms
  • Brentwood Sweet Corn, Green Onions
  • Pastry Chef's Selection of Confections,
    Ice Cream and Sorbet
I'm telling you, it was perfection.  I thought the potatoes were too runny until I dipped my steak into it and it was like frosting on a cupcake.  A steakcake.  DROOL.  The service was fantastic and when dinner IS the evening event it should always be like that. 

We stumbled back to our hotel in a food stupor and I passed out like a person who had consumed 3 bottles of wine.  To be honest, when I decided to have the gastric bypass surgery I never thought I would be able to enjoy a meal like that, but when it is paced well and you don't stuff your face you can enjoy everything.  Sadly, we did not eat too much of the dessert but it was tasty.  This is one of the two that they brought to us, a molten lava cake with sorbet and a nice message on the plate. 

We awoke the next morning in our clothes. Just kidding...there was enough alertness between arriving in our room and the loss of alertness to put on pj's.   We prepped our room for our departure.  Oh, didn't I mention that our long weekend ended with a late flight home Sunday night?  We planned it that way so we could spend the day Monday recovering.

We decided that if you're in Las Vegas you had better eat at a buffet at least once, so we took the tram to the Monte Carlo and joined the line for pre-cooked eggs.  The folks in front of us had a two for one coupon and we bravely asked where they got it.   We zipped out of line and headed toward the Concierge desk where without even asking if we were hotel guests we were handed a coupon that halved the price of our breakfast.  Sadly, the line at the buffet grew from 5 deep to 50 deep while we were away, but we survived it. 

Remembering my mistake from the day before I focused my breakfast energy on good proteins, eggs with ham and some corned beef and while I took a pancake, I didn't eat it.  I left feeling full, satisfied and smug that technically, I ate for free.  

Sunday, at a non-marque casino we dropped some money in the machines.  I found one that was a little more fun than another and I should have quit when my total credits showed I was up by $30.  But, come on... what is $30 in vegas?  Heck, it's not even lunch.   Later we collectively tried our hands at a video roulette game and it was fun but we blew $40 in about 15 minutes and then we were done with gambling.   Jason said his desire and enjoyment of winning is not outdone by the loathing he feels when his money is eaten by the machines.  I get that, but he hasn't won $400 bucks.  That's a mighty exciting moment.

We spent the rest of our day exploring and a little bit wishing we could be hanging by a pool.  It was HOT in Vegas.  The humidity was at maybe 3% so if we were sweating it wasn't an issue.  Frankly, my hair looked awesome the whole time we were there.    We had a mini-lunch at New York New York in their creative food court.  Instead of the expected and boring food around the perimeter with tables in the middle, they have set up their food court to look like street vendors and shops in the city.  You dine on bistro tables along the "sidewalk" and it is social and fun.

We dined light because our dinner was going to be early (5pm) at another TopChef  Chef owned place.  This place is a burger joint, but you have to craft your own burger from the many many wonderful options.  You pick the meat, the cheese, the sides, the sauces, the veggies.  YUMMY.   I was sad that I could only eat half my burger.  I wanted to get it all in, but it wasn't going to happen. 

After our fun burger experience we picked up my favorite Las Vegas treat, the $10 "pashmina" in multiple colors and then worked our way back to the hotel where our bag was safely stored with the bellman.  We expected lines at the airport, but ended up having to hang out for an hour waiting for our flight. 

We had been bumped to first class and the extra space was nice.  The flight was a little bumpy, but I managed to have a nap anyway.  We were home at midnight and it was lights out by 1. 

Yesterday, we slept in, made breakfast then watched tv and a movie in bed until noon.  Finally, we made ourselves human and opted to make a trip to Babies R Us to possibly register for the many things we need for the arrival of our peanut.  At one point Jason left me to use the restroom and when he came back I was in tears.  (emotional much?)  All the car seats, bouncie chairs, high chairs, cribs, packn'plays and STUFF just got to me all of a sudden.  It occurred to me that I might not ever be ready for this baby.  He was a good sport and we decided to take care of our baby needs a little at a time.  It will also help when we have a sex because then have the things will be off the list.. but I do think it is crazy that stuff comes in BLUE or PINK.  Maybe there's the occasional brown or green, but damn if you're not into blue and you're having a boy you're just out of luck.    I also think that we will get a better idea of what is actually needed as we do some more mommy & daddy research.

So, after our BabiesRScary experience we had lunch and headed home. We spent the rest of our day in quiet relaxation.  Well, Jason mowed the lawn in the rain because it needed it badly and I napped like a good pregnant lady.

We rented Percy Jackson and the Olympians movie, which was cute and then retired early.   It was hard to get up and log into work today, but having a day of transition from Vegas to our real world was a great plan.   I can't tell you how great it was to wake up in our own bed on Monday and not have to go to work.


Jason said...

OK, you can’t believe everything TP Gal says, especially when she is having low blood sugar levels. Here is what happened after she threw up her breakfast: TP Gal returns from the bathroom saying she feels so much better after throwing up. I asked her if she had the ONE protein bar she brought with her. She answered, “Yes, it is in my purse, but I do not need it.” Now let’s fast forward to the bathroom at the Bellagio where TP is playing solitaire on her iPhone, on the toilet, hoping that the cold sweats leave her. TP tells me that she is unsure what is happening. I tell her again, that I think she needs food and that she should break into that ONE protein bar. TP finally agrees and within minutes of eating the bar she is already starting to come around. Now we head back into the Bellagio and find the Snack Shop where TP got the $18 sandwich and she smiles at me and thanks me for taking care of her and laughing at me for being worried.

tp_gal said...

Well, that does sound a little familiar, but lets give me a LITTLE credit for not posting EVERYTHING that happened during our weekend.

Some things need to be edited.

But... you were right. I needed to eat the protein bar. FINE. YOU WERE RIGHT.

Anonymous said...

Is someone cranky? Maybe needing some protein?

tp_gal said...





PNB Dave said...

Love the Vegas entries...they make me want to go back for another visit without a horrible head cold.

Too bad about the pukin'.