Hi there friends! We’ve been keeping busy in Las Vegas for the past weekend for James’ birthday. His friends from Colorado, Brent and Ellen, also flew in to join us as well, which doubled the fun. A lot of people have mentioned that Vegas is ALL about gambling which, don’t get me wrong, you could totally spend a week over there drinking and playing slot machines, but at the same time, there is so much more to do!
Over the past several days we’ve hit up some mind-blowing casinos, ate at some great restaurants, and, yes, gambled and partied!
We celebrated our first evening in Vegas at the Ghostbar, conveniently located in the rooftop of the hotel we stayed at.
Another evening, we did a club crawl, bouncing around from Drai’s to Body English in Hard Rock Hotel to Chateau at Paris. Drai’s has a nice pool area outside and great energy and vibe overall, and we all voted it as our favorite.
I spotted this emergency footwear vending machine for the ladies. Smart idea! :)
The weather was amazing during our vacation, making our time out there extra special.
It’s been warm, but not hot here, which made it really comfortable to dip in the pool. Plus, there’s nothing a few buckets of ice cold beer can’t fix ;)
For lunch one day, we decided to grab a bite at Gordon Ramsay’s BurGR. The line was looooong, which gave us time to check on Yelp and see what to order as we waited in line. Most people mentioned Farm Burger and Britannia Burger, so we decided to go with those. The Parmesan Truffle Fries was also a popular item as our server had recommended it as well.
Check out the flaming signage!
Fifteen agonizing minutes later, the burgers finally arrived! That’s James’ Farm Burger with duck breast bacon, sharp English cheddar, and a fried egg on top, and me sinking my teeth into my Britannia Burger with sharp cheddar, mango chutney, and arugula. Both burgers were cooked medium-rare and I especially loved mine with the sweet and tangy contrast from the chutney and the peppery bite from the arugula.
But the fries were disappointing. They tasted a tad dry and stale, and despite dipping them in the accompanying sauces, I couldn’t really get myself to like them. :(
Feeling stuffed to the gills, we decided to walk around on the Strip. Plus, it was my first time in Vegas so I had plenty to see!
First stop was the Botanical Garden at the Bellagio, which was a magnificent conservatory of art located near the lobby of the hotel for all to enjoy.
Huge pumpkins in shades of white, red, and orange adorned the garden. I checked the signs and saw one that was over 1000 pounds! There were also a giant cornucopia, talking trees, and beautiful floral displays in seasonal Fall colors.
There is so much creativity involved in the displays, like this Georgia O’Keeffe’s Red Tree, Yellow Sky “painting” in fresh flowers!
And the aroma from the gorgeous flowers is indescribable. I’d love to see what they have in store for every season and especially during the holiday. So, go if you ever get the chance. It’s a must-see!
I also loved the glass sculpture in the lobby created by Chihuly, who used 2,000 hand-blown glass sculptures to decorate the ceiling.
A visit to New York, New York was up next. Look at those skyscrapers! And that jelly bean covered Lady Liberty!
We grabbed ourselves a seat outside Aria in front of the waterfall and rested our feet. How cute are those bird chairs?
Next on the agenda was Wynn. We had to check out these floral installations — a carousel and a hot air balloon completely covered in fresh, colorful flowers!
Oh look, here’s our old friend, Jeff Koons!
Finally, after a whole day of walking around, we headed back to the hotel to rest up and get ready for James’ birthday dinner at Atelier Joel Robuchon. More about the meal on another post!
After dinner, we grabbed a drink or two and headed over to Absinthe, a variety show in a tent outside of Caesar’s Palace. Reviewers have raved about this, and it was everything they said — hilarious, raunchy, with some jaw-dropping acrobatic feats thrown into the mix. If you get offended easily, then skip this show because there is good chance that you will get called out, laughed at, or even called on stage!
Well…I did get called up to the stage, of all things, to judge a lap dance contest. Awkward for me, entertaining for everyone else, so it’s all good! ;)
On our final day of vacation, we got up and lounged around by the pool again until it was time for brunch. Before we were ready to head home, we got a little taste of Paris at…Paris Hotel! Mon Ami Gabi, a classic French bistro on the Strip which everyone has raved about, was pretty special.
The items on the menu sounded incredible, but my inclination was towards something with eggs and cheese, so I got a Croque Monsieur with crispy, thin-cut fries on the side that was too good to pass up. Everyone else got the Seafood Crepe with scallops, shrimp, peas, and cream sauce.
A pitcher of sangria made it a real brunch. Who said you can’t have boozy brunch on Monday?
That’s all she wrote for Vegas. It was a short stint and I’m hoping that next time I’m in Vegas I will find an opportunity to see the Grand Canyon and maybe do some hiking.
Did we hit some of your favorite spots!? What other places did we miss this time that you would recommend when we are in Vegas again?