Girl’s Trip – Day 3

Sunday was our final full day. We had brunch reservations for Sunday brunch, but that wasn’t for awhile so I go down to the little coffe/pastry counter they have down by one of the restaurants to get us some pastries. They are pretty divine. No pics though. We scarf them too quickly. We do some shopping at the Fashion Show mall, which is just across one of the pedestrian bridges from the Wynn hotel. That is where our brunch is, at the Country Club restaurants. It is the Jazz brunch, because there is, you guessed it, live jazz.

I bet that you will also be able to guess that I have a mimosa, or two. But who’s counting?

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They have a great buffet selection, and also entrees that you can order off the menu, which we do. They also take us through the buffet selections, telling Susie what is vegetarian, and tell me what has milk and cream.

We order some things off the menu. Susie has a Benedict that she has them modify to conform to her vegetarianess. That’s not a real word. I just made it up.

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I order a hot dog, because it sounds special on the menu. But it turns out that it is just a hot dog. A decent hot dog, but I can’t say that I like hot dogs enough to let this one take up room in my stomach when there are all those other yummy things to eat. I also order some Benedicts, but just regular ones.

We are quite full when we are finished. I actually think I have only one mimosa. I asked for a second one, but he never brings it  to me.

And the staff here looks exactly like the people you’d find at a country club.

We take some pictures outside by the waterfalls and fountain. The fountain is synchronized with different songs, so we watch that for a bit.

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We go back to shopping at Fashion Show Mall.

When we are fairly exhausted, we go back to the hotel. I rest. Susie works out. I will not comment on that.

We dress up and go to dinner at a restaurant that is at Mandalay Bay, since that is where the show is. There is more then one MJ show in Vegas, as I will later find out. This one is Michael Jackson One, which is a Cirque show. We both enjoy it. I had arranged to meet a friend from work for drinks after the show. I had seen on Facebook that she was also in Vegas, and she said she was going to an MJ show. I assumed there was only one. She was texting me, asking where I was, when the show had barely ended. Turns out, they were at a different show. Oh well!

When Susie and I went back to the hotel, we went to the bar and had a drink. We chatted with the bartender.

We were back in the room by ten. Clearly, we are not into the club scene, or whatever it is that people do after ten, in Vegas.

Monday was our travel day.

We ordered room service for breakfast.

I had this potato cake thing with an egg.

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Susie had this healthy combo thing.

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We had spa reservations for massages. We got there early so we could take advantage of the pools, jacuzzis and showers. A couple of the showers were not working, which was disappointing.

The massages were awesome. I’m pretty sure Susie has just a regular massage. However mine is a jade massage which involves all kinds of cool stuff.

We pack up and check out, leaving our stuff with the bell boys, and go get some lunch. I think. I can’t remember, but I can’t imagine that we go for very long without eating. We take an Uber to the airport. We declare this a very successful trip to Vegas, and an awesome girl’s trip.

Next up, our June trip to the Grand to celebrate Zung’s 70th birthday!

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Girl’s Trip-Day 2

Breakfast was at Hex, which is across the street and down a little, at the Paris hotel. Of course I start with a mimosa, this is a vacation, after all.

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Both of our breakfast choices were delicious. We needed to fortify ourselves for all the shopping, and that means all the walking we were going to be doing.

We went over to the Cosmopolitan to collect our winnings from our sports bets we had placed the day before. I was happy with doubling my money, but Susie puts her winnings towards another game. She was lucky the entire trip. She kept putting her winnings towards another game and she kept winning.

We hit the shoe stores, as well as the other many, many stores there are. Jimmy Choo gets a lot of our time and attention. They are having some awesome sales. Susie falls in love with a pair of black suede pumps. But she does not have the budget to spend that kind of money. I have been thinking about buying her a pair of designer shoes on this trip, so I tell her I’ll buy them for her. She is beyond ecstatic. I also buy a pair of very cute flats, cause they are on sale. I had to take advantage of the awesome sale, right? I knew you’d agree with me.

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I end up choosing the blue Louboutins I tried on yesterday. We had all the shoes shipped because you save on tax. At least I think we did. I know I have the Louboutins shipped.

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In case you forgot, these are the ones I picked.

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It’s always so hard to choose because there are always so many amazing shoes in Vegas.

We had a 2pm reservation at our hotel for Afternoon Tea. It is served in their lobby, which is on the 23rd floor and the view is amazing. I had emailed them before our arrival about my dietary restrictions, and been assured they could accommodate them. I avoid anything with milk or cream, which cuts out a lot of amazing things. But I’m happier because my stomach is happier if I do.

Our waitress said they wouldn’t have anything to replace the things I couldn’t have, which was very frustrating because that was the reason I had emailed ahead of time. It turns out she was wrong. They had prepared some lovely treats for me.

I had the champagne option because, why in the world would I pass up a chance to drink champagne?

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Everything was delicious and we were quite full. Hopefully we would be hungry by the time we ate dinner.

We did more shopping. Rested in the room. Well, I rested. Susie went and worked out.

Dinner was at Wing Lei at the Wynn hotel. It was really good too.

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Susie had lots of vegetarian options.

I was starting to notice something that was a little weird. All the servers at the Italian restaurant last night has Italian accents. All the servers at this Asian restaurant were Asian. I know it’s illegal to make that kind of thing a requirement for a job, but either they were somehow skirting the law, or it was an amazing coincidence.

After dinner we take a couple of photos.

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We get an Uber and go back to our hotel. I think this was the night that I soaked in the amazing soaking tub in the bathroom. Then we both went to sleep. Vegas 2, us zero.

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Girls Trip With My Girl

I had barely unpacked from my New Year’s Eve Mexico trip, when I was packing again to go to Vegas with Susie. We had been trying to find a time that she was available to go away for a few days to celebrate our both completing our Masters degrees. I had finished in April and she had finished in August. Monday, January 16th, was Martin Luther King day, which she had off from her job as a first grade teacher. It was literally one week later from getting back from Mexico that  I packed my carry-on, and took a duffle bag that folded up and first into said carry-on, for all the things we would buy. Actually, I’m sure I packed the night before because our flight left at still dark o’clock. I got up at 4 am. This was the second time in as many weeks. IMG_0037

 

Once we arrived, we took an Uber to our hotel, the Mandarin Oriental. It was raining. Fortunately, most everything is inside. Even though it was early, we were able to get into our room right away. I asked for a refrigerator inside to be delivered to our room. We unpacked and then went to the CVS next door and I got some Almond Milk. The last time I was here this was not available in most restaurants and so I couldn’t enjoy my morning tea. One place had acted like it was the most outrageous thing anyone had ever asked for. This time I was going to be prepared. I had brought along a little Tupperware container to carry the Almond Milk with me when we went to breaskfast restaurants. As it turned out, I didn’t need any of this, because in the seven months since I was last here, everyone got the word that Almond milk is something that a lot of people want, and it was available everywhere we went.

Our first stop was for breakfast. We went to the Cosmopolitan next door, to Henry’s.

Of course, I had a mimosa.

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We both had bennies to eat. Susie is a vegetarian (most of the time).

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I did ask for my hollandais on the side, so I could resend that I was going to try and eat healthy.

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Susie was going to place some sports bets for herself and her boyfriend. She convinced me to give it a try. We were the only women in line. I wanted to start out slow, and bet $5, but she told me I had to bet at least $50. That was hard for me. I usually play slots, and only $20 at a time. Granted, that could quickly turn into $60, but it’s different when you do it like that. The bets were placed on some football game.

With our bets placed, we headed to the Crystal Mall, right next door, for some mostly window shopping, because the stores there are out of our price range. Except for shoes. It’s become a tradition to buy designer shoes. Not a bad tradition, yes?

I didn’t buy these, but they were definitely contenders.

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These were contenders as well.

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This shopping mall is right next to the Cosmopolitan, where they definitely appreciate shoe lovers.

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We did lots of walking that first day. My Fitbit registered 10,000 steps pretty early in the day. And by the end of the day, it was over 20,000.

We went back to the room to rest before dinner. As tired as I was, I couldn’t sleep. Susie went to the hotel gym to work out. Of course she did. She came back to the room, and was texting on her phone with her boyfriend. All of a sudden she jumped up and said she was going to place another bet for him. She also said that it was not looking good for the game the she and I had bet on. She left and literally five minutes later she called me to say that we had won! Things can change, just that quickly. My $50 had doubled, minus the house’s take, of course.

We took some pictures as we made our way through many of the hotels.

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We had dinner reservations at an Italian restaurant in the Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace. We made the mistake of having the Uber drop us off at the front of Caesar’s when it was all the way at the other end of the Forum Shops. We were both wearing heels and were so tired of walking, and just tired in general.

Overall, it was a great restaurant, with stellar service and excellent food, and not crazy expensive. However, they seated us at a lousy table, right by the waiters work station. I asked for another table and the hostess said because we’d been late (15 min) they’d given away our table. We went ahead and sat down.First they brought us hunks of Parmesan cheese. Then some salami. then some bruschetta. All of this was complementary and before they even handed us a menu. Then some guy came up and identified himself as the captain and he told us about the specials and gave us menus, and came back shortly after that to get our order. That was all we saw of him. We were so tired, we could barely eat the wonderful entrees. The final bill had a special place for the captain’s tip. I had never seen this before and since we had barely seen the guy, I didn’t put anything there. Another odd thing about this restaurant was that everyone, and I mean everyone, had an Italian accent. What an amazing coincidence. We had had lots of servers. They had been very attentive.

Then it was back to the Mandarin Oriental, which is always nice to go back to. It has no casino. So, it is calm and serene.

It was quickly to sleep because we were both completely exhausted. Sad to say, it was only ten o’clock. Vegas had kicked our asses. We had thoroughly enjoyed our first day.

Posted in Awesome Staff, Drinks, Food/Menu Items, Non-Mexico Trips, Shoes, Shopping | 4 Comments

This Isn’t Goodbye…

You haven’t heard from me in a couple of weeks because I was at the Grand last weekend. It was a short, solo trip. It was awesome, and you will certainly be reading about it in the future.

I wake up early, and just think about things until my alarm goes off. Zung gets up and takes some final Zungrise pictures and then goes and gets chairs. He doesn’t really need to, but is in the habit.

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Sadly, that palm tree on the left of this picture has died. Someone said it was because of the seaweed that was dumped at the base of it. Unfortunately, right now, as I write this, it is just a dead palm tree in the view. But, back in January, when this picture was taken, it was still alive.

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It is Azael’s day off, so we ask for Angel at breakfast.

Angel is a wonderful waiter who always takes good care of us. I am currently helping him raise money so his mother can get the bilateral hip surgery she needs, as she is currently unable to walk right now. I saw Angel last week when I was at the Grand. He expressed deep gratitude for my help and all the people who had donated to the Go Fund Me account I started for him. He said it has been difficult to ask for this kind of help because he is a very private person. I originally just posted this on the Facebook Grand group page, but decided to post it here, in case any of you are inclined to donate. Any amount helps. Thanks.

https://www.gofundme.com/angels-mothers-hip-surgery

Back to your regularly scheduled blog. I have a poor appetite. I have tea, and skip the mimosa.

Zung has his usual breakfast. I may have eaten something and just forgotten to take a picture of it.

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I go and say goodbye to Olivia. We go back to the room and get ready for the beach, where we stay until almost noon. While it is sunny, it is also very windy. My stomach is feeling better, so I have a mimosa, then a mango mimosa.

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Too soon it is time to go back to the room and finish packing and dress to leave for the airport.

I never get tired of this view.

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This is a pretty good view also.

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We shower and pack.There is a loud noise in that anteroom. It stops when the lights go off. When the lights go back on the noise comes back. It is really loud. The bellboy is not there at the appointed time of 1:05 so Zung calls them, and I go to LasBrisa and order.

Angel is our requested waiter again. He’s very nice and always takes good care of us.

Last vacation lunch drinks.

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Sea bass is the fish of the day. I don’t like it very much. I eat some of it and then go check buffet. There is nothing there I like much so I get some salami and some of the iberico ham, which is kind of like prosciutto. I take some of the  little rolls and make little sandwiches. That hits the spot.  The french fries are good.

It’s funny how the waiters always want me to check my fries and see if they are hot enough.

I get a call from our transportation. He has arrived an hour early. I am not rushing through our last lunch because I asked for them to come an hour later, so he just has to wait.

The sad walk.

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We walk to the lobby, pay our spa bill, and give the front desk and bellboys each a box of the candy we have brought for gifts. I leave Rafael his box with the front desk.

There has been a shooting at a Florida airport. Just what you want to hear before you go to a crowded airport.

We check in with Southwest. Go through security. Terminal two is so chaotic. We go to Bubba Gumps. I ask for some  Havana Club Siete. She says they don’t have it. I ask what rums they do have? Bacardi. Gag. What else? She goes and gets the list. There’s HC7. I ask for it with coke. Together, she asks. That’s how it’s usually made. I’m wondering if I have stepped into an alternate reality.

Toto, we’re not at the Grand anymore.

Zung had said he didn’t think we needed to eat, but he looks at menu and is hungry right away.

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I, on the other hand, am really not hungry. I sip on my drink, and keep looking at the menu. I finally settle on fried chicken sandwich. The chicken is pretty good, but the fries are nowhere near as good as the fries at the Grand. Toto…oh, never mind.

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Just for the record, the glass in the picture is a water glass, not an empty rum and coke glass.

Zung has some creamy, shrimp dish.

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We finish and our gate is finally assigned.

We board, find seats. There are little kids behind us. They keep playing  with the tray table and overall are just very rowdy. I think this is going to be a very long flight. However,  after takeoff they settle down, and are quiet for most part for the rest of the flight.

We land and go through the whole Immigration and Customs thing. This has really been streamlined because you check in at a kiosk with your passport, get a receipt with you name and picture on it, check in with the Immigration dude who always asks if you brought in any alcohol. It’s been pretty quick since they’ve done this. We get our bags and are through Customs even more quickly.

Until next time readers. That should be next week.

I do want to ask you to take a look at my daughter’s blog again. She wrote another very inspirational blog. I have to admit, I didn’t know she had this incredible talent in her. The name of the post is, “Tomorrow Isn’t a Promise.”

http://www.milehighdreamers.com/tomorrow-isnt-promise/

I have also started a second blog. It is a blog about breastfeeding. If you are breastfeeding, know someone who is breastfeeding, or pregnant, or if you are just curious, please take a look. I am trying to build content and readers.

http://breastfeedinganswersandsolutions.com/

As always, thanks for reading!

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Exotic, or Not

We spend some time on the beach and then go back to the room to spend some time in the jacuzzi on the balcony. First we make some drinks. This time we make Shandies, which is half beer and half Sprite. Dave and Tessa told me about this drink and it isn’t half bad. It’s kind of refreshing.

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Zung timed this poorly when he tries to take a timed picture with the tripod that Dave gave to us,

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Success!

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The views from the jacuzzi are really incredible.

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We shower for dinner. The maid has tidied our things up, to within an inch of their existence.

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She has also made sure that we are well stocked with toiletries.

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This skirt is from Rent the Runway. It is one of my favorites. I have worn it several times, with various tops. It is so fun to wear.

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We head off to the Japanese restaurant, Haiku. Raul is our waiter. He is so friendly. It is always nice to see him.

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Alberto comes by to see how we are doing.

The menu has changed and we are not really fans of the new menu. Zung has the salmon.

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I have the duck confit. It is very, just ok. The teriyaki sauce is way too sweet.

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We decide to have dessert. I ask Raul what kind of fruits are in the exotic Caribbean fruits. He tells me apples, pears and cherries. I burst out laughing. He shakes his head and says, I know. He is embarrassed, I think, with the answer he has to give. Perhaps these fruits are exotic in the Caribbean. I say I’ll pass on that and ask for the chocolate volcano. It is quite the production.

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I have confess, I don’t remember what this is, that Zung got.

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We take some pics before heading to the lobby bar.

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I want to try something different to drink. I tell Daniel about a drink I got once that I liked and he makes me a raspberry mojito.It’s too sweet.

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Then I ask for a cucumber mojito.

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That tastes like a mouthful of lime. Nothing is tasting good to me tonight. The cocolate cake shot is not bad.

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I love Zung’s expression in these next couple of pics,

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Then I ask for a Citron and club soda, which doesn’t do it for me either.

A woman comes up and introduces herself. Her name is Katherine Ann and she asks if I’m the Andrea from the blog. She is friends with our friends, Neil and Maria and they told her about my blog.

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There are some pictures taken.

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We make it all the way to about ten and then say good bye to Daniel and go back to room. I am not super tired, but just feel kind of done. I would love to ship on some rum back in room, but not really in the mood. It’s more the idea. I don’t have any.

I have trouble falling asleep again. I take my last Ambien. It does the trick.

Tomorrow is our going home day. Boo.

Posted in Drinks, Food/Menu Items, Restaurant, The Grand | 1 Comment