Food,Booze and Shoes – Las Vegas

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I still have several  Mexico trips I could blog. However, I wanted new material to work with. It is still a few months until Zung and I return to Mexico, my favorite place in the world. An opportunity for a trip presented itself when Frontier had an awesome sale with rates that were not to be believed, or resisted. I picked a few days at the end of May and booked it.

Bellagio had amazing rates as well, and Zung has been dying to go to Bellagio for over five years. We’ve been to Vegas even more than we’ve been to Mexico. We usually stay at a different hotel each time we go. When Susie turned 18, I took her to Vegas for shopping and a show. We stayed at the Bellagio and ever since, EVERY time Bellagio comes up, Zung says (dare I say, whines?) “I’ve never been to the Bellagio.” When I asked him where he wanted to stay, he didn’t think about it twice. Bellagio.

I booked it. Between then and when we left, I found even better rates, so rebooked at the even better rates.

That’s how they suck you in. Low air and low hotel rates. Where they get you (or at least where they get us) is the food. And drinks. Oh my! Do they ever get you with the drinks. I guess they are getting us back for not being big gamblers.

Then there is the shopping. Vegas is where (on different trips) I purchased my first “obscenely expensive” purse (Coach) and shoes (Manolo Blahnik). It has become sort of a tradition to buy designer shoes. Twice makes a tradition, doesn’t it?

I did my research on Trip Advisor and various web sites and had a list of places to eat breakfast, lunch and was still working on dinner.

Great dinners can be had in Vegas for buckets of money. I did not want to spend buckets of money for our dinners. We spent the most amount of money ever on a dinner in Vegas. When we were here in October 4-5 years ago we went to Michael Mina in Bellagio. We did the tasting menu with wine pairings. They also threw in 2 (identical) cook books (which I have not ever used). It was $650. It was a very good dinner with very good service, but it was not worth $650. I knew I never wanted to spend THAT much money on a dinner again. I could have bought another pair of shoes for that!

Dinners proved to be our challenge and disappointment.

We would leave on Tuesday, May 29, stay two nights, returning on May 31st. We would leave early and return late, giving us basically three full days.

Our flight reservations there were at 6:30…in the morning. It was one of those — seemed like a good idea at the time — things. I don’t know why getting to your vacation destination early always look better when you’re making the air reservations than when you are setting the alarm to get up at o’dark o’clock. I’m not even usually UP at 6:30 in the morning, let alone on an airplane. I clearly didn’t do the math to calculate just exactly HOW early I would have to get up at that godforsaken time of the morning. That would be 3;45, and even that was pushing it.

We checked in online the day before. I also worked the day before. The only other thing to do around here on Memorial Day is the Bolder Boulder. This is a 10K that started in 1979. It is the largest running race in the US with over 50, 000 participants. I sure wasn’t doing that. It’s really just so hard to run in heels, ya know? It doesn’t pay time and a half either.

We went to bed early and I took Ambien to ensure I would sleep.  An example of what my friend Erika calls, ” a better life through pharmaceuticals”. I was asleep by 10:30. The problem with Ambien is that it is a short acting drug and I was awake at 2:30. I slept on and off until the alarm went off at 3:45. A lifelong insomniac, 5 hours of sleep is considered a good night for me.

I did double alarms to ensure we would wake up on time. We wanted to leave the house at 4:45, but we didn’t get off until 5:00. We made good time and got to the airport at 5:30. Great! An hour early. We thought wevwere in good shape.

We didn’t count on the long security line. Zung is an Ascent member with Frontier, so he gets to go in the “special” line for security (i.e. shorter and is given priority). It was still long. And slow. Where WERE all these people going at this hour of the morning? Security was excruciatingly slow and then we were doing the power walk  to get to our gate. Once there we found they had moved our seats up to stretch seating (another Ascent benefit). Yea!

We took off on time.

We had the most hysterical flight attendant we have EVER had. His name was Tate and he had piercing blue eyes and this black and platinum blonde hair thing going on. His goatee looked like a checkerboard. He may have been moonlighting as a comedian in Vegas. We laughed a lot. Until he spilled orange juice on my white capris.

It was a quick (hour and a half) and smooth flight.

We brought carry on, so we were able to skip the baggage area. We did stop to greet the turtle.

We would see if we would need to invoke the saying, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” when we departed.


This Post Has One Comment

  1. I love Vegas! Can’t wait to read more as it’s been over a year (gasp!) since I was last there. I’m a gambler so my focus is usually on that (and drinking), however I agree with you on the food. The big name restaurants never seem to live up to the hype and the price. I tend to have better experiences at the places that don’t get much buzz and can be had for under $100 per person (it is Vegas afterall…) so I’m curious to know what you tried and how it was.

    I was recently on a 6am flight and got to the airport at 4:15am and has a similar experience. The place was packed! And the TSA agents made it well known that they didn’t want to be there based on how slow they were moving.

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