A trip to Las Vegas… and an apology for such a long absence :)

I completely realize that I have been MIA for a couple weeks (how does time fly that fast?).  I planned on writing a blog post from Las Vegas, but it really didn’t happen.  Too busy with other things I guess. 🙂

Getting ready to leave for Vegas was crazy.

For starters, Mike and my weeks prior to leaving were pretty insanely crazy, particularly Mike’s.  He had a Kaizen that week, which basically is a continuous improvement initiative that means he worked 12 – 16 hour days each day Monday through Thursday.  He got to come home early on Friday, which was nice, since it gave him the opportunity to completely crash Friday afternoon.  I also worked from home Friday afternoon because Piper’s cat sitter was stopping by to pick up the key.

Our weekend in Vegas with Linda and Lia (and Keifer and Zuko… can’t forget those two adorable dogs!) was great… very relaxing.  Everything from eating out at nice restaurants to going to the Beatles Love Cirque Du Soleil show, to hiking at Red Rock, to fixing Linda and Lia’s TV speaker setup (Well… let’s be fair.  It was only Mike who did that.), to helping Lia look at Subaru’s.  Basically we did everything.  🙂  It was 100 degrees and very sunny.  Too warm and sunny for everyone else, but pretty nice for me.  🙂

Our whole travel experience was incredibly smooth.  We had non-stop flights, so we stepped on a plane in SeaTac at 11:15 and stepped off in Las Vegas two hours later without even changing time zones.  I had gone as cheaply as possible on the rental car which meant that we had our pick of a bright yellow Fiat which looked like a Volkswagon beetle except without headroom or a trunk or a pale blue Toyota Yaris which looked like a Volkswagon beetle except without headroom.  We chose the Volkswagen alternative that had a trunk and wasn’t taxicab yellow.  🙂  The woman who helped us with the rental car was very nice.  She and I got talking about shoes for awhile while Mike waited patiently.  On the way to Linda and Lia’s, Mike stopped at McDonalds to eat since he says that’s “exotic” food for him that he rarely gets.  🙂  I scoped out the nearest Whole Foods on my iPhone and wanted to get a salad from there, but I got confused, thought it was on the opposite side of the street, and couldn’t find it.  So we just headed to Linda and Lia’s instead.  We spent the rest of the day with them, catching up and relaxing.  Since Mike and I got up early for our flight and since Mike had such a busy week prior, we were both pretty exhausted.

Sunday I planned to get up early to run before it reached its high of 100 degrees for the day.  But it didn’t happen.  I was up late talking to Linda, even after Lia and Mike and Keifer and Zuko all headed to bed.  I got up relatively early, but when I went outside, it was already hot and my phone indicated that it was 88 degrees.  Since it felt too hot to run I decided to walk to the coffee shop about a mile away and get Mike a coffee.  I walked for about five minutes and got to the entrance of their subdivision… and then I wilted.  I could feel the heat of the sun beating down on my neck and the sweat starting to drip down my face… and I’m the girl who loves the heat!  I turned back and then drove to the coffee shop in the rental car instead.  🙂

Linda and Lia were having problems with the speakers on their TV, and Mike took charge of that as a project.  He researched and experimented and determined what needed to be purchased and what needed to be wired where.  This resulted in him and me making an emergency Best Buy trip.  Fortunately, EVERYTHING is close to Linda and Lia, and they happened to have a Best Buy a mile away.  🙂  That resulted in another stop for coffee.  (Mike and I tend to go crazy with coffee when we’re on vacation.)  It also resulted in a stop by Whole Foods for my delayed salad.  Delicious!  I had a whole roasted eggplant on the top!  It was so big that I had to nibble on it throughout the afternoon… way too big to finish in one sitting!  That night after half of the work relating to the speakers was finished, Mike, Lia, and I headed to the strip to watch a Cirque Du Soleil show!  We parked at Treasure Island with only a few minutes to pick up our tickets.  I was gearing myself to run down the street to The Mirage where we were seeing the show, but there was a tram that connected Treasure Island to The Mirage…. how convenient!  (One thing about the strip… everything is geared towards convenience… it’s a little crazy how true that is.)  The show was beautiful and amazing.  Lia’s and my favorite act was a group of roller skating guys who did jumps off ramps in a choreographed act.  They were wearing white fuzzy leg warmers over the roller skates, and I think both Lia and I had white fuzzy leg warmer/roller skate envy.  🙂

After the show, we planned to get something traditional to eat (i.e. steak, pasta), but the steak restaurant in the Mirage had a long waiting list.  We decided on a Japanese place named Japonais.  I wasn’t quite in the mood for sushi (I have to be in the right mood for it… I’m not a true convert yet), but the atmosphere was so wonderful and the decor was so beautiful that we wanted to try it.  It was a delicious experience!  We each got different drinks so that we could all try each other’s.  Mine had an edible orchid.  🙂  We got several dishes and all shared them.  One of the dishes was steak that was delivered to your table very thinly sliced with a very hot stone.  You cooked each slice of steak yourself on the stone.  Mike was definitely on board with this because he got to be in charge of cooking the meat.  He became very proficient at flipping the steak slices with his chopsticks by the end of the evening, but said that towards the end he would have liked a new hot stone, because the old one was losing its heat and he wasn’t able to get the same cooking quality.  🙂  After that, we spent a little time at Caeser’s Palace so Mike could do a little gambling, but he didn’t gamble long because Lia and I didn’t understand the game and lost interest quickly.  Then we walked up the street to the Bellagio and watched the water fountain show in front of the hotel.  It was beautiful, and it was so warm outside that it didn’t matter if we got splashed with some water even though it was well after sunset.  🙂  We didn’t get back until late.  Late enough that my plans for an early morning run the next morning didn’t happen, but it was definitely worth it.  😉

Monday was the day to finish working on the speakers!  Mike located some new speakers at Best Buy but they only had the floor model at the Best Buy near Linda and Lia’s house so Mike and I drove towards the Best Buy just off the strip where they had the model Mike was looking for.  It was definitely very hot.  Very, very hot.  After we got the speakers, Mike was hot and hungry, so I suggested having lunch at the Venetian.  I really like the Venetian because it has a large fake sky inside the hotel and a large canal that you can take gondola rides in.  All of this is inside the hotel/casino.  They also have a huge, huge mall inside the hotel/casino which I hadn’t been aware of.  Mike and I browsed through some of the shops.  Very cool!  We found one antique book store that had books dating back to the 1400’s for  sale.  The books were behind glass and were incredibly expensive.  $47,000 for an original edition of Moby Dick.  Wow!  We ate at a restaurant called Table 10 owned by Emeril Lagasse that was inside the Venetian.  Afterwards we wandered around looking at stores a little more.  The mall inside was so unbelievably huge that I became lost almost instantly.  I thought about a gondola ride in the canal, but although it looked cool I’m going to hold out for a gondola ride in the REAL Venice if I ever get there.  😉

Afterwards Mike and I returned to Linda and Lia’s and Mike started hooking up the speakers while Lia and I helped by doing yoga nearby with Keifer and Zuko.  😉  That night Mike, Lia, and I went out to dinner at a gorgeous nearby restaurant named Agave.  It was a veryrelaxing night, and we had our dinner outdoors on the patio.  Afterwards we drove up towards Red Rock, parked, and looked down at the bright, twinkling lights of the strip far below.  Very, very gorgeous!  And we got home very, very late.  Again.  🙂  This time, though, I set an alarm so that I could make my early morning run a reality.  I did, and had an awesome run the next morning bright and early.  It was still warm and sunny, but not too warm and sunny.

Afterwards, Mike and I helped Lia look at cars.  We had lots of questions for the car salesman, but ultimately we were pressured strongly to buy that day because “we’re not getting any more cars in… what we’ve got in that lot is all there is.”.  Really?  So they’ve stopped manufacturing Subaru’s?  Interesting.  I had no idea.  Anyway, after that we went out for brunch.  (Are you getting the sense yet that we ate a ridiculous amount of good food in LV???).

Then, later in the day when it wasn’t so scorchingly hot outside, Linda, Mike, and I went up and did some light hiking at Red Rock.  It was so spectacular… more spectacular than I remember.  Mike took full advantage of the new environment and took a lot of pictures with his new camera.  He got some beautiful ones of Red Rock.  He needs to go through them, sort them, delete duplicates, and then he says he’ll be ready to post them on Flickr.  So stay tuned for that!

I’m sure we’ll be back to visit in the future.  🙂  Linda, Lia, Keifer, and Zuko really are the most amazing hosts.  🙂

So there’s my update on Vegas… hope that was worth waiting (two weeks!) for.  🙂


1 Comment

Filed under Friends, Travel

One response to “A trip to Las Vegas… and an apology for such a long absence :)

  1. LiaJ

    Had such a fantabulous time with you during your visit! Do come back again soon—there is still SO MUCH more trouble we can get into.;)
    P.S. My mom and I have been enjoying our new sound system (no buzzing!) and we make Mike’s (Super Secret Recipe) Limeade everyday. It helps quench the thirst after being out in the heat that is LV!

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