I hate using such a cliche but.. Viva Las Vegas

Several years ago Bill wanted to go to Las Vegas for a Bead and Jewelry making convention, we talked about going together but I was hesitant. Everything I had heard about Las Vegas made me think I wouldn’t like it. I am not a gambler. I hate slots. I just don’t get it. I love card games but more with friends than against strangers. I just didn’t see what Vegas would have that I would enjoy. However, I knew Bill really wanted to go to the convention and figured we could have SOME fun doing something. That first trip I became a believer. I had a spa day, we watched the Bellagio fountains, and of course we went to the M&M store. We had some great food and the environment was so bright and exciting.

So many years before Bill and I met, his daughter and he went to a Cirque du Soleil and afterward were having a conversation about how the best ones were in Vegas. Then Lex throws out the question, “So will you take me to Las Vegas for my 21st Birthday?” Bill thinking she would NEVER remember such a thing says, “Sure”.

So last summer off we went to Vegas to celebrate Lex’s 21st birthday. It was a family affair. Bill, Bill’s Ex, both kids each with a friend, and me. We spent a week in Las Vegas. We had great food, saw some fun shows, gambled a little. We went to aquariums and went to see Loins and Tigers, no bears though.

So a few weeks ago as Bill and I were planning out our path to Florida Bill decided we should stop in Vegas for a day or two. We both needed new M&M t-shirts and so we planned our trip.

Should I be jealous?

You will notice Blue is the one with the Green kiss... I guess he is the coolest.

Yesterday I was feeling mostly better and so we trekked off to Las Vegas. We have 2 very favorite restaurants out of the many we tried and decided to have a day of yummies. Our first stop was at BLT for the best hamburger on the planet (and trust me I have had my fair share of hamburgers to make that proclamation) and the “Campfire Marshmallow” milkshake.

See the lovely marshmallow on the left and the shake running down the side... yum

It tastes just like a roasted marshmallow and is sooooooooo good. We walked that off for a few hours, stopping at the Erotic Heritage Museum, which is quite an interesting place. Then meandered down toward the Luxor for snacks and the best margarita we had ever had at Tacos and Tequilas. We then walked that off heading down to the M&M store to pick up a few items (no M&Ms) and next to the Coke store where we tasted 16 flavors of Coke from around the world (skip the Italian soda (The Beverly) if you go it is horrendous). We then walked further down strip through the new hotels The Contemporary and Aria they are snazzy but more ritzy than I prefer.

We finally got over to the Bellagio. The Bellagio is my favorite hotel. It is more expensive than I would ever spend to STAY in a hotel but luckily in Vegas you don’t need to stay in them to wander through. The Bellagio has 2 major things I go for every time we are in Vegas. The first is the fountains. In the front of the hotel they have a little lake, in the lake are fountains and every 30 mins during the day and every 15 mins at night they play a song and the water “dances” to the music.

I love water… water fountains, waterfalls, ocean, ponds, lakes, rivers. If it is water I like it. Bill is the same way. We will stand for hours watching the fountain and then waiting for the next show. Last night I was pleasantly surprised by the holiday music the fountains danced to.
The second thing I love about the Bellagio are the gardens. They have this massive room that is a garden and for each season they change the garden. The first time Bill and I were in Vegas was Spring. There was a butterfly house and tulips.

The second with the family it was summer. Hot air balloons decorated the ceiling.

Each season there are animals made from flowers… ladybugs, frogs, polar bears all kinds of beautiful creatures.

This time it is winter. There was a beautiful polar bear made from white carnations. There were penguins with building plans making igloos to stay in for the winter. The center area was every color of poinsettia I have ever seen and then a few (which is saying something because I grew up on a plant nursery). It is so lovely. Each time we go we just love to visit the gardens.

At this point it was midnight and I had the munchies but I was so tired and realized we had an hour or more drive home so we stopped in the Carnegie Deli in the Mirage for a bite but we wanted it to go and knew a sandwich would get icky if it sat too long so we asked for their pastrami without the bread. Basically that amounted to 14 OUNCES of pastrami with 2 pickles and a cup of stone ground mustard on the side… well at least its Atkins’s friendly. LOL We ate that on our ride home (well not all of it… WHO eats 14 oz of meat on a single sandwich… oh yeah those NYers.) For those of you skeptics the Carnegie in Vegas is actually the same deli using the same recipes as the deli in NY. Yum!

We walked almost 20,000 steps (almost twice the daily recommendation) and we each burned over 3,500 calories (1,000 calories more than my daily goal) so I think we balanced the calorie intake with the calorie burn and we don’t do that everyday (thank goodness). The traffic was light and I imagine this is likely a slow period for Vegas. It was so fun but I know it was even more fun when we had our family trip. I find the more people I have around the more I enjoy things. It will be a while before we make it back to Vegas. Which for my waistline is probably for the best. LOL For someplace I expected not to like at all I have truly grown to love Las Vegas. There is something here for everyone. Although I personally don’t think I would bring children under 12. LOL It is a great place for adults that want to be kids though. Grin.

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