Thursday, July 15, 2010

Quiet Time Poolside

Thursday was spent poolside at John's parents house while they were away. After checking on the kitties a dip in the pool was a must when the temperature hit 105 degrees. The sunny day presented a perfect opportunity to tan out my bikini lines. No music, no crowds ... just quiet time together.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ultimate Destination

We have wanted to get out without an agenda and just explore ... like "tourists" and what better place than the destination thousands of people visit each year--the Las Vegas Strip?

After trying our luck at a slot machine, we started at Barbary Coast two-fisting margaritas and raspberry daiquiris. We walked north along the east side of the strip hotels past Flamingo, Imperial Palace, Harrah's, and in to the Casino Royale for a restroom and $2 beer stop. Then continued past the Venetion and the Wynn to check out the waterfall. There was a cute Mexican restaurant with a patio near the water and though the menu tempted us to take a seat inside, we were after something else for lunch.

After the Encore we crossed the street and kept marching on until we reached our ultimate destination -- Slots-A-Fun. The foot long hot dogs and ice cold sodas hit the spot! Before we left, I had to have something I've always of those tall drinks filled with frozen piña colada. It was just the thing to cool us off during the hot day as we made our way back to the south end of the Strip.
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Along the way we stopped by one of those little tourist shops to get our dads t-shirts. We caught Happy Hour at Diablo before visiting the Grand Canyon and M&M shop. Who knew we would run in to Spider Man making a call at a phone booth. We watched a live performance in the Hawaiian village before heading home. Our legs tired and after a hot shower we slept like babies. :-)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Night of Ratatouille

With our staycation under way, we decided to spend Tuesday at home. John ran errands for his Retül bike fitting business and I needed some quiet time to sit on the couch and check in on matters at the office. Havi and Elgy must have missed us (they love being around us as much as we like being with them) shooting guilt-instilling looks whenever we made eye contact.

Later in the afternoon John and I went grocery shopping at Trader Joe's. We didn't feel like cooking so a plate of antipasto and French wine were great compliments to one of our favorite Disney movies, Ratatouille. This was also our way of toasting the Tour de France which was in the very last days of the annual bike race.

Watching the main character, Remy's struggles to become a chef is always inspiring. Hey if a rat can cook, so can I! ;) Except the only "little chef" around here is John.
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Monday, July 12, 2010

Bare Monday

I cracked one eye open and then walked over to peak out the window through the morning Vegas sun...down to the Strip over the fountains which had displayed a fantastic show the night before but was now quiet and still. John was asleep and probably everyone else since it was just after 7 a.m. My impatient appetite got the best of me so I nudged him to wake up. A big, greasy breakfast sounded so good and the only place that came to mind was Hash-House-A-Go-Go.
Their oversized Bloody Mary was good as always and so was their brunch. I picked Andy's sage fried chicken with fresh spinach, hardwood smoked bacon, market tomato, griddled mozzarella, chipotle cream and scrambled eggs. Oh I think my eyes were larger than my stomach because I barely made a dent! If you've never been to one of the restaurants, know that the farm house food is BIG you might want to share a dish.
Meanwhile the party bus left Bellagio carrying anyone who didn't want to drive to the Mirage.

Finally fed we were soon poolside at Bare, the adult pool inside the Mirage for part two of the Cigarettes and Champagne birthday celebration where we were provided pitchers of mojitos and an open Bloody Mary bar. The upper area with the private pool was reserved for the party and it was nice to have some space to relax. Monday was Industry Day and the place was one of the busiest days we have seen with lots and lots of good looking people and John's favorite--thongs.
We stayed well in to the late afternoon and though it would have been nice to go up to the room we had at the Mirage, our newfound Pho restaurant beckoned us to sit in for dinner. It doesn't matter to us that the Vegas temperature is well over 100 degrees, Vietnamese soup is ALWAYS satisfying and comforting after a long day.
The perfect ending to a nice birthday weekend celebration. Tomorrow we will be staying at home and spend the day with our cats. I'm looking forward to it!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cigarettes and Champagne

Our weekend getaway began with low-key dinner at Havana Grill and concluded on the Strip for a Cigarettes and Champagne party.

John worked through the weekend to have extra days off in the week together. When Sunday evening came, we were ready to relax and enjoy the days ahead. Through his co-worker, we learned of a restaurant in Henderson that had the best mojito in town. Sounded like a "must-try" and a nice place for happy hour on our way to our friend's birthday party.
Oh boy...the mini cuban sandwiches, plantain, papas rellenas, chicharrón, croquetas, tamal, and of course the mojitos were fantastic. We walked out of there stuffed but happy.

Then our friend and two of her girlfriend's 20-hour birthday extravaganza began with a champagne toast at Caramel bar and lounge at Bellagio. We followed the group to The Bank Nightclub where we had a private area at the corner with plenty of room to dance.

Our bottle service was Grey Goose Vodka and Beau Joie (the new luxury champagne retails for $79.99 recently launched in Vegas). The "suit of armor" (metal jacket) helps keep the liquid cooler longer and the bottom provides an improved grip when opening and serving (it also avoids nail breakage). My glass was never empty for very long before it was filled with more champagne. John and I eventually had to turn down another glass (I was told the next day that our group went through over 50 bottles, LOL!!)
Eventually the birthday girl and our friend Whitney arrived in her fabulous flapper outfit!

I was surprised by how packed the nightclub was for a Sunday night. At one point, John and I made our way to the main dance floor down below and could barely move like sardines in a can so eventually we were back at the table.
We didn't know anyone else besides Whitney but all her friends made us feel like part of the family. Before we knew it was way, way late in to the night and so we bid everyone farewell for now. We walked out of the club and in to the quiet casino towards our room comped for us by Whitney.
But who could pass up the Botanical Gardens so we made a quick stop to enjoy the celebration of summer arrangements. Because no one was around (it was nearly 4 a.m.), we had the whole place to ourselves to admire all the sight. It was beautiful!!

Photos from Picasa Web Album.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Girls' Day

Things seemed to fly by so much faster during a four-day work week. I didn't have any plans for the weekend except house chores since John worked (in exchange for two extra days off for our upcoming staycation). Once that started, I knew there would be little time to tidy up the house. As it turned out, not having plans was a good thing because it left my schedule flexible for spontaneity.

My friend Jameie called asking what I was doing and one thing led to another. Soon her cousin's sweetie (and my friend) Kristen had the same dilemma. Hmm, house chores ... or Girls' Day? So we met up and went to Town Square for some shopping and dining.

First things first was to take care of our appetites at Brio Tuscan Grille so we could have energy to shop. The brunch, served only on Saturdays and Sundays sounded so good on the sunny patio. Okay, so it's hot in Vegas but we were under a shaded umbrella surrounded by misters.
Jameie had ricotta crepes topped with fresh fruit and granola drizzled with cream cheese.

Kristen had mascarpone-stuffed french toast, sauteed golden brown and topped with fresh berries and vanilla cream cheese drizzle.
I had the Frittata Al Forno: a layer of eggs, angel hair pasta, crisp bacon, onions, spinach, artichoke, Fontina cheese, and Parmesan cream (very rich) but it was served with fresh fruit ;-P.

We washed it down with a thirst quenching berry soda cocktail with a virgin version for Kristen, the expectant mother.

Brunch was so nice we didn't want to leave but we had many stores to visit and soon we were off. Store after store, I had so much fun I lost track of time. You see, shopping is only fun with good friends (I don't like in-person shopping and try to avoid it doing it alone unless necessary).

Of course we had to take a break at YogurtLand, a tradition of Jameie and her son. By the time I got home, it was late but it wasn't too late to watch the Tour de France and for my fashion show (John likes me to model the loot).

I am glad I didn't have anything on my agenda going in to the weekend because sometimes the best things happen when they are unplanned.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Cubra Libre Shrimp Salad

Bahama Breeze has to be one of my favorite places to eat; the price average, the food above average but the environment and service is always excellent. Located off the Las Vegas Strip on Flamingo Boulevard, it is also conveniently close to my place of work where I met a couple friends from campus for lunch.
While waiting for our meals, we swapped stories from our holiday break of Lake Mead, Leadership Camp, and the Malibu Strings party.  I had an entrée salad, the Cuba Libre Shrimp Salad: chilled shrimp tossed with a rum and cola glaze; served with fresh greens, pineapple, and candied almonds tossed in sugar cane vinaigrette.  YUM-YUM!!  Delicious despite the glaze being a little too thick; there has never been a meal I didn't like but I won't get sidetracked with a long list of my menu favorites.
It was a great start to the work, not because my friend treated us to lunch but because the food was excellent and the company even better!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Liquid Pool

Since John had to work during the holiday break, my friend and I spent the day together at the Liquid Pool. She had never been to this pool and it was a good chance to get some down time before the start of the work week. We spotted a thong lover and befriended her. It is always nice to meet and learn about new people. Her boyfriend would agree and was happy for the photo opportunity with us, LOL. Cheers to new friends if only for a day by the pool!
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Sunday, July 04, 2010

Fourth of July at DayDream

Our Independence Day was uneventful. We went to the DayDream Pool because it is close to our house and it would be more mellow given the past few days' events (don't get me wrong, we had an absolute ball the past few days. It would be nice to take a break from the Strip).

When evening came, we picked up my pappa-in-law to go see the movie, "Grown Ups". The fireworks at the end of the show was perfect and when we left the theatre, saw our own lightshow as the city celebrated Independence Day.
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Saturday, July 03, 2010

Malibu Strings at Liquid Pool

It was rough waking up after so little sleep from the night before but the thought of being poolside and soaking up the sun was an easy motivator. We joined Malibu Strings at the VIP area of the Liquid Pool. The five bottles of vodka and mixers was ever present and the big tub of water was much needed. In the spirit of the Fourth of July, the ruffle Malibu Strings suits in blue, white, and red were made for us. John and I stayed until the sun nearly set and were the last to leave with our friends to retire to our rooms. It was a fun day!

Friday, July 02, 2010

Malibu Strings at Haze Nightclub

My favorite bikini company is back in Vegas for the Fourth of July hosting the third annual Malibu Strings party at the Aria Hotel & Casino at the City Center. John and I checked in Friday evening at the Aria and went down to the Union Restaurant & Lounge at the casino level for drinks and appetizers. The tiger shrimp cocktail with the Louis dipping sauce was delicious and we loved the Union Salad (shrimp, green beans, tomatoes, bacon, and vinegar dressing) beautifully presented and the flavor was out of this world!

We then joined everyone in the party at the MS president's sky suite for a cocktail reception and photos before the chain of over 20 girls and their companions walked down to Haze Nightclub. We were ushered in to an area reserved for the women which overlooked the floor of the nightclub. The bottle service was non-stop where five bottles of vodka was present at all times with mixers. Other tables invited the MS ladies to theirs and we raised a glass of champagne for the groups' special occasions.
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
John and I had so much fun dancing, it was close to 4 a.m. when we realized we were tired and needed to head for bed. The room was a retreat to go to and had a view other pools under construction at the property. If you have never been to the Aria, the contemporary decor would keep your eyes busy from the floors to the ceilings. With a simple push of the controls on the alarm clock at our beside, the city lights reflecting off the glass window and pool were closed off by the sheet of curtains and all was dark and quiet. Saturday would be another exciting day!