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Friday, October 16, 2015

Viva Las Vegas

I know I usually share beautiful pictures of the outdoors on this blog and of my travels.  But traveling is traveling and a trip to Vegas deserves an honorable mention on this blog, right? So please forgive me as we talk about casinos and people watching over some grainy iPhone photos. 

When one of my best friends was flying to Vegas for a work conference during my fall break from school, it only made sense to hop on a plane and meet her there for a few days.  So Monday night I packed my bags and hopped on a 50 minute delta flight for ~ $150 to Las Vegas, Nevada.  The room was paid for, the flight was cheap, how could a travel loving girl with a week off like me say no to that? 

Because her work event was at the Cosmopolitan, she had a room right there at the gorgeous Cosmopolitan hotel.  Imagine a room at a gorgeous hotel right in the middle of the Las Vegas strip, big beautiful fluffy beds, a desk where I could work during the days, a lovely little common area gigantic bathrooms (huge hotel shower), closets, and a deck with a view from the 58th floor of the Bellagio Fountains.  That will do. 

While Kristen was at her conference, I unpacked my bags caught up on some work, and examined our gorgeous room.  I saw the box of billable goodies on the counter by the sink and naive old me, decided to pick one up to read the package (only in Vegas is your room stocked with a pleasure kit- I just had to see what was in it).  What I didn't know, is that you get charged just for picking items up.  SO Kristen had to explain why the pleasure kit was not used and should be left off the company bill for her room when we checked out.  Lesson Learned. 

Our first night (Monday night) in Vegas consisted of a business dinner at the delicious Michael Mina in the Bellagio that Kristen's boss was so kind as to invite me along.  The company was wonderful and was seated next to the kindest Utahn from American Fork during dinner. We had such a lovely dinner all chatting about our different hobbies, backgrounds, and experiences.  Kristen is truly lucky to work with some a great group of people and company.  

 After a delicious dinner and scrumptious champagne, we sort of all split up and I went with Kristen and a coworker back to the Cosmopolitan for a night cap and a few rounds of Black Jack.  Kristen and I had an absolute blast learning how to play Black Jack, and turns out that pretty blonde is quite the Black Jack Player.  

What amazes me about Vegas, is how any given night is a Saturday night.  You would never be able to tell that it was a Monday night by the people gambling, drinking, out at dinner, and just generally having fun.  We had such a great night in Vegas gambling, drinks, and late hours around a casino table. With such fun company, we really had a great first night and that "Vegas Experience" if you will. 

Tuesday morning, after a few drinks and a late night I was pretty excited to for breakfast.  After a little research, I discovered that The Henry at the Cosmopolitan was known for its great breakfast, especially the Short Ribs Benedict-  Sold.  I had a nice breakfast for one, and yes, that breakfast was everything I had hoped for and more.  
And I finished the entire plate.

While I wanted to lounge at the pool (above) after breakfast, I chose to catch up on some schoolwork and some work work (below).  Sitting in a big comfy bed with a hot coffee watching re-runs of SVU and HGTV is basically how I work from home anyways ;) When I needed a break I headed down to the gym for a quick workout.  

For our last night in Las Vegas, we decided on dinner at La Cave at The Wynn.  There was a lot going on with the presidential debate being held in Vegas right there at The Wynn Tuesday night.  It was fun to be around the hustle and bustle with the debate going on at the same hotel.  I decided to walk all the way from the Cosmopolitan to The Wynn and got some amazing people watching in along the way.  I concluded that it is realllly (really) creepy when the people dressed as characters try to hit on you, but all in all, its a pretty harmless place with all those people around.  We shared some wonderful tapas style dishes and drank rose, and had a great last night in Vegas.  If you are ever at La Cave, be sure to order the French Onion Soup. 

Wednesday, I caught up on some more work, and we all went to the airport to catch a mid-day flight back home.   I am surprised to say that this was my third time to Vegas in exactly one year.  And prior to this year, I had never been.  

Of course, I am an outdoor lover and I will take a beautiful beach or a hike up a mountain any day.  And to be honest, the first time I visited Vegas I really wasn't a fan.  All the people, the clutter, the concrete, such a built environment surrounded by beautiful mountains and desert.  

But with each visit, I started to appreciate Vegas more and more for what it is.  It is a place where you can see  some of the best restaurants in the world all on one street.  You can even find a Michelin rated restaurant on the same block as a Dennys.  It is the sort of place you can spend the day working in your room and when you get a little lonely, take the elevator down a few floors and BAM you are amidst all the action any day, any time (Yes, people are gambling and drinking at 8am).  97 degrees in October, you can lounge by the pool with a cocktail, and then hit the town for a fabulous dinner and night out.  

And lets not forget the people watching.  Oh my the people watching of Vegas.  From the overweight Americans with their fanny packs and sneakers, to the girls walking around in nearly nothing, Vegas is a people watching mecca.  When you accept it for what it is, you can really have a great time in Vegas.  Bring your favorite dress, a good pair of heels and have an amazing dinner, try your luck at the casino, and receive about a billion compliments,  Vegas is bad for the wallet and good for the ego. 

I can't say I will be back any time soon, but we had such a great time playing dress up and eating at some of the wonderful restaurants Vegas has to offer.  And meeting one of your best friends in a place like that is always a great time.  Like a grown up sleepover if you will.

Another great trip in the books.  
Now, back to our regularly scheduled programs of outdoors and nature ;) 


  1. haha oh, vegas. always a crazy time! i'm glad you had some of the benefits of it (good eats + shopping) among the madness!


  2. I so badly want to go to Vegas! I've been trying to go for the longest time, I just have to go there at least once you know! Also, I laughed when I read the part about the pleasure set, it's in a lot of hotels like that right now, so I pretty much don't touch anything haha!

    N- Naomi in Wonderland

  3. "Vegas is bad for the wallet and good for the ego" Agree!

  4. Casino is my love! I like to play it with my friends. Especially card games This guide was informative for me


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