Monday, January 20, 2014

Quick Trip To Sin City

A week and a half ago Adam was asked, by his boss, to accompany him on a business trip to Las Vegas for the American College of Cardiology's yearly conference. When Dr. Murphy asked if I could join them too, it was a no-brainer. I, of course, was more than happy to do a little un-planned, quick trip, all I had to do was make sure and get child care covered. So I immediately called both our parents and they were more than willing to help with the kids. We split them up this time (the two oldest were at one house while the younger two were at the others, then half way through our 3 nights/4 days, they swapped kiddos.) I know the kids had fun, hopefully the grandparents aren't too worn out from all our hooligans!!

We flew out on Wednesday late afternoon. I don't normally have coffee or Starbucks but I usually treat myself to some tasty drink before a flight so a carmel cappuccino and banana bread was what I chose.
And Adam did his usual, doze-off and cat-nap, for most of the flight…

We arrived, settled in and changed then had a late dinner. I must say, since I'm quite used to my "nursing home schedule" where my kids are dying for dinner at 5:30 or 5:45, eating at 8:30 was quite late for me, but it was oh so delicious! Here was the night time view from our 53rd floor.

On Thursday morning we had some time before the conference started so we ate breakfast and headed out to see the sights. This was our view as the sun was coming up that morning…

We started off at New York New York and tried to ride the roller coaster that starts inside the hotel then goes outside, but it didn't open for a couple of hours, boo!

Then we saw…

The Bellagio...

I do have to say my favorite hotel was the Venetian. I've not yet been to Italy, but from what I've seen and what I've heard, the hotel is a perfect replica of what Italy is like…I definitely want to go there some day! There were canals with gondola rides and of course men singing opera in Italian at the top of their lungs. They literally made the inside of the hotel feel like you are outside, it was really so amazing!
Canal inside Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas

We had lunch along one of the canals at Taqueria Canonita, it was very good food (similar to Local Lime here in Little Rock) and had such a fun scene to take in all around us.

While the guys went to the conference Teresa and I walked along the strip shopping, talking and taking in some of the crazies. I got my picture with these Transformers, the boys would've loved seeing them in person. I decided not to take a picture of the many show girls lining the streets or the gladiator man dressed solely in a loin cloth with his armored mask, shield and javelin…I shouldn't have been surprised, but I did have to ask myself, "why do people do this?" Is is for attention? Or just for fun? Or maybe its really all they know to do, either way, it does seem a bit crazy to me.

We also went to Sigfried and Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. It was pretty cool to see all their many cats: lions, leopards, white tigers, orange tigers, etc.

I learned that one of the dolphins had been rescued after being shot in the head out at sea; thankfully they'd found it and been able to fully rehabilitate the animal. I also found out that they have to train the dolphins to eat dead fish, of course in the wild they eat living fish and all different varieties, not just one kind, so they have to train them to eat dead fish and usually offer them 3 different types, in case there's ever a shortage, like they're experiencing now.

While we were watching the dolphins an airplane made this heart in the sky…I guess somebody got proposed to?!

That evening as we left our hotel and waited for a taxi we got to watch a great water fountain show as we headed to dinner at the Wynn Hotel, which is where Garth Brooks has been having his show for the past 10 years and just finished up out there this month. I must say, it was beautiful, truly amazing decorations, and the restaurant was superb!

This was just one of the many spectacular displays, this entire hot air balloon was made out of flowers, is that not amazing?!

Friday morning Adam had conferences so I worked out in the gym then came back read some then took a leisure time getting dressed. We had lunch together then did more exploring. We had a helicopter tour planned for late afternoon and that was really a treat! We got to see the Vegas strip, the Hoover Dam (with the Colorado River feeding into it) then saw Lake Meade (the huge man made lake there in Las Vegas). I've never been in a helicopter but I must say it was fun and totally repeatable! We were in there with 2 other couples and the pilot, you have to sit according to balanced out weight, thankfully Adam and I got to ride next to each other as well as shot gun, so we definitely had the best seats! I should've known this (since helicopters don't have wheels, but in order to take off, they hover over the ground for a ways kind of "hopping" along the runway). I guess I sort of thought they just lifted up off the ground like the military helicopters I've seen…but NO!

Directly over our hotel, the Aria.


That evening we ate at Tao (a Japanese restaurant) in the Venetian, which is spectacular at night...

I had my first ever Japanese fondue, shabu shabu, which I must say really was good, being that it was all raw fish, I wasn't sure if I'd like it, but it really was great!

The best part of the evening started at 9:30, the Soul to Soul tour of Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, it was awesome from my 6th row, front and center seats…truly A-MAZ-ING!

They started off with her "Hey, Baby Let's Go to Vegas", then proceeded to sing almost all of their major hits, it was really a great show!!

Obviously we were in Vegas, most known for its gambling, which I've got no experience doing, so that was a bit intimidating to me, but I did give it a little go with a $20 bill in the slots and won $60, that was enough for me, then Adam tried and won $75, that was enough for us, we aren't big risk takers!

Vegas was a lot of fun, we really enjoyed our time together! Here, we're leaving the Aria headed back to reality…On our elevator down, we rode with a woman who was dressed in a short white dress with white "go-go" boots. She informed us that she was headed to get married and was quite nervous…ya think?! Really?! It never ceases to amaze me the things people do…it's kind of hard to believe that those weddings that take place out there really do have legally binding reality attached to them, because it seems that the people just make the most flippant decisions about marriage…oh well. I wished her all the best!

It was fun but we were ready to get back and re-enter life…though I must say "re-entry" is a beast; getting back into the groove is terrible! Thankfully we had off for MLK Day to add onto our weekend which was a blessing! Now it's Monday night and the week is truly in full swing! Here's hoping you had a fun weekend and have a great week ahead of you!

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