Tuesday, February 19, 2019

what happens in vegas...

... Gets plastered all over social media. The line to get our picture taken at the "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign was a half hour long! (Worth it, right?)

Anyways, here are my DOs and DON'Ts of a winter Vegas getaway

DO wear your FitBit
I got over 50,000 steps during our 3 days in Las Vegas! (I finally beat Dad at our weekend competition. His Saturday tennis matches usually crush my best attempts.) We stayed at Bally's, which is right in the middle of the strip, across from Bellagio. Friday we walked south, to Mandalay Bay and back. Saturday we walked north, as far as Wynn. We did a little window shopping and admired all the glamorous Chinese New Year / Year of the Pig decorations. Seriously, pigs were EV-ERY-WHERE.

DON'T assume that desert = hot
On Sunday, we rented a car and drove to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. The sky looked a bit ominous as we made the turn off the main road, but I was completely unprepared for "desert winter." The sky darkened. The wind chill dropped from 50F to 27F. The sleet/snow mix began as we started on the 13 mile driving loop around the park. The Visitor's Center made bank on sweatshirt sales.

We stopped at several spots along the loop to walk around and take photos. I was entertained both by the beautiful scenery and by other visitors' excitement about seeing snowflakes. "A snowflake!! Take a picture, take a picture!!"

DO eat some good food
We took the recommendation of our Uber driver and breakfasted at Mon Ami Gabi in Paris. It's not too expensive, opens early, and has patio seating right across from the Bellagio fountain. Just check out this view. Handsome dude and a classy hotel.

We ate lunch at China Poblano, José Andrés' Chinese-Mexican fusian restaurant restaurant in Cosmopolitan. It was the perfect menu for Dan (could eat Asian food every meal for the rest of his life) and me (never tires of Mexican food).

Also, I had a slice of cheese pizza from Sbarro. It was excellent, as always.

DON'T waste your money on slot machines
Waste it on cheap video Blackjack. Way more fun.

I lost $4. The pain of my loss was eased by the fact that I found $2 on the ground. Dan lost $0.25 (which is practically winning, considering that he played for a couple hours). High rollerrrrrs.

DO see a show
Saturday evening, we saw Cirque du Soleil LOVE, the one featuring Beatles music. I had to adjust my expectations after the first few minutes, since it was much more about dance, performance, and staging than the mind-bending acrobatics I expect from Cirque. It was high-energy and visually mesmerizing, with fabulous music (of course).

DON'T get hung up on finding the perfect souvenir
Even with all the shops and bling in Sin City, I actually never found a Vegas-related bracelet charm. One of the little shops in the Paris hotel had an Eiffel tower charm. I can't quite put my finger on why, but that just didn't feel very "Vegas-y" to me. Fortunately, National Parks/Preserves/Conservation Areas always have me covered... so, no Vegas charm this trip, but I did get a Red Rock one.

Our most successful souvenir purchase of the trip was a pair of kids' binoculars for Mae. She's super into "noculars" right now (thanks, Daniel Tiger) and was thrilled to have her own pair... even if she looks in them backwards sometimes. "I see youuuu. You soooo tiiiiinyyyy."

DO come home (eventually)
Mae spent the weekend with Grandma and Grandpa, and had a great time. They went to an indoor pool and had a long playdate with Oliver. But, by Sunday, Mae was telling Grandma, "Mommy and Daddy live in Las Vegas."

Monday afternoon, Mom met us at the airport with our car and our kid. Mae was so excited to see us. I walked up to the car first, and she started screeching, "Mommy! Mommy!" When Dan showed up a few minutes later, she actually burst into happy sobs. (Yeah, yeah. I know. He's the favorite.) The whole ride home, she addressed every statement to, "Grandma Grandpa... erh... Mommy Daddy!"

She has been such a chatterbox lately. Last week during dinner, I was trying to tell Dan something and she kept talking over me. I turned to her and said firmly, "Mae! I am talking to Daddy right now!" To which she cheerfully replied, "Yeah! I talking to Daddy, too!"

Pretty crazy weekend, right? Maybe it was actually totally wild, but all that stuff "stayed in Vegas," so I can't tell you about it.

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