Tuesday, June 21, 2011


New York New York Casino. Home away from home.
My birthday is in April and this year my mother and step-father gave me the most awesome gift that a grown up could receive- an all expense paid vacation and an offer to watch my children so I could GO on said vacation. I was ecstatic! Unfortunately some medical issues came up which caused me to postpone my trip a couple of months. It was a little hard to wait, to say the least. Time passed though, I healed and the school year ended. So... the time finally arrived and my husband and I were able to get ourselves to Las Vegas. Woohoo!! I am 37 years old, live within driving distance and had never EVER been to Vegas. I am so embarrassed. ;-) But as luck would have it, we were also given airplane tickets. Yep. Airplane tickets. Double the awesomeness! That was only the second time in my life (that I can remember) flying anywhere. You have no idea how much I (we) needed a vacation. SERIOUSLY, needed it! I mean, with 4 kids, (2 of them having special needs) and a very interesting husband, a girl can go a little stir crazy. ;-) So, off we went. 3 whole days without responsibilities. It was wonderful! Thanks Mom. It was the best trip I have had in a very VERY VEEEEEEEERY long time. Here are a couple of pics of our adventure.

Ok. Not the real Elvis. But he had to do. This one single shot fulfilled a wish that my husband has had for a very long time. Go figure. LOL is what I say... Roaming Las Vegas Boulevard along with Elvis were some very interesting characters. Michael Jackson, I will have you know, is alive and well as are just about all of the Marvel Superheroes that you can think of. The creepiest thing we saw was that horror character, Jason? I think that's his name. The one who wears the hockey mask? Yeah, that dude. There was one of him complete with a severed head and everything. Yuck. Not exactly what you want to see as you are wandering the street and minding your own business. Luckily there was a showgirl and some transformers beyond him to lighten the mood a little. Thank goodness.

Cheesecake Factory for lunch. Why? Because we could. Cheesecake that you don't have to share with 4 kids ALWAYS tastes better anyway. Plus, it was yet another place that we hadn't tried before. This one was pecan turtle cheesecake with chocolate ganache frosting, or something kind of like it. It was heavenly. I would bathe in it if I could. Ok... that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it was awesome. Could only eat half of it, it was so rich. But it made an even better midnight snack, I will tell you that!
We did some serious "shopping" while we were there. Walking through all the luxury malls pretending to be rich. Didn't go in to any of the foofoo sheshe stores but we sure did look at them. And man oh man are they pretty! Beautiful famous name boutiques that I hadn't been exposed to in my little California town. Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Prada, Harry Winston, Tiffany... You name it and they were there. It was very cool. Oh... Lots of purses everywhere. Lots and lots of purses. It was kind of baffling actually. Who would have thought there was such a need for $600 dollar purses? Also thought it was strange to see a Gucci store on every corner. Practically. Bizarre.
It had been recommended to us that we eat lunch here at Olives at the Bellagio Hotel. We did. It was awesome. If you like fancy food, then you are in luck. I had the best handmade butternut squash tortolli and Cablecar drink in the history of the world. Pretty much. Dave had the felafel with feta cheese and skinny fries, all gourmet-ified. He isn't even a vegetarian and you would never have known the difference. He ate it like it was a gift from God. Most expensive lunch I will ever have in my life probably. ;-)

 I have a paralyzing fear of mountain lions and large cats. There I said it. But for some reason I decided to go under the 3 large female lions that were on display in the lion sanctuary at the MGM Grand Hotel and take some pictures. I figured that the 3 inch thick plexi-glass tunnel was adequate protection from doom and/or being hand picked by the furry huge inhabitants of the very lovely sanctuary, to be dinner or a chew toy. What happens in Vegas...

This is one of the many fountains sprinkled throughout Cesears Palace Hotel. We saw an even bigger marble fountain with an aquarium on the back side of it too. That one had animatronic story tellers who let us know all about the falling of Atlantis (in a very ginormously fiery display.) But for some reason I only took video of that one, like a dodo head. You will just have to take my word for it. It was quite interesting.

Ok, this place was cool. The atrium place at the Bellagio Hotel was just fabulous. It smelled better than any candle or room spray that I have ever come in contact with. Eat your heart out Glade. lol. I heard that they change all the themes seasonally. I bet it is just breathtaking in the fall and winter! As it was, being patriotic and full of American things and all, it was nice. I was impressed with the hot air balloons and just the overall grand scheme of things. Real master craftsmanship/gardening skills were evident for sure. I could have just sat there for hours except it was ridiculously hot and humid and I was schvitzing like a mule in there. ;-)

Last but not least... The gambling. You have to do it. I mean, why come all this way and then not have the experience of losing money to a slot machine?? Well, as luck would have it I actually won a couple of times. I was so stinking proud of myself. It sure makes it nice! I TORE UP those penny machines like there was no tomorrow. Sometimes, I even bet 5 whole cents on one spin. Yep. I know how to party. ;-) This particular picture was taken at the Cosmopolitan Casino which is one of the newer ones. They were having a promotion where if you signed up for their "club" they would give you $25 in slot credit. Well, I like free things even on vacation. Dave and I both signed up, put in our new cards and LITERALLY walked about a little over $200 richer. I am not kidding. It was awesome. I don't know if you can tell, but this is a 50 cent machine. Apparently, free money makes you a big spender. But it also makes you a winner too! Thanks Cosmopolitan! We'll be back. :)

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