I know a lot of people aren’t fans of Vegas. Yes I know, it permanently smells like smoke, you’re “stuck” inside breathing the same air over and over, gambling is a waste of money. Yup, all true. But what it’s also is a place with some great restaurants, the best shows, and well, you’re (hopefully) there for nothing other than FUN. I love love love vacations. I live for travel (and food; I like to combine them in fact). It’s time away from work, home, responsibilities. Time to relax, recharge, get a sunburn, and spend time with your favorite people. Vegas was all that and more!
Meet the Vegas crew!
[Pretending we’re in Europe ]
Adam, Gary, Tiffany, Kyle… and moi (unpictured). Adam and I usually travel alone but some places are just so much better with company!! Kyle is hilarious and it was nice to do some girlie things with Tiffany. In fact, there was some much needed pool time with pina coladas and gossiping and a lot of this…
This would be shopping. Window shopping. Girlie window shopping. So pretty…
Tiffany writes a makeup blog. She’ll be blogging about Inglot soon (Tiffany, I promise to send you the 500 pics I took!!). That place was GORGEOUS (and actually really cheap). It took a lot of power to buy nothing.
Think I can pull these off?
I took the girlie thing to a new level by going to the Canyon Ranch spa for a massage on Sunday afternoon. I’ve always wanted to get a massage on vacation but could never justify the cost. Well, Adam got some gambling $$ and I got a massage. It was fabulous. That place is sick. In a good way! And I even went to their gym that morning. Also awesome. I always feel rushed when I work out. I took my sweet time that morning. Man, I love vacation!!
A sweat sesh was of course followed by a bloody mary and brunch at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon. We stayed at the Venetian hotel and I ate something from the Bouchon bakery every single day (it was the closest eating establishment to us) and then brunch at the actual restaurant one day.
I was greeted each morning with this:
So I finally tried one of their famous macarons.
Eh, they were just okay. My favorite thing from the bakery of everything I’ve tried (which was a lot!) was the yogurt with granola. The granola was super clustery and buttery. Yummmmmmm. Brunch was even better!
[Sour dough rolls with butter and preserves]
[Creamy eggplant soup with sweet crème fraiche]
[Bread pudding french toast with caramelized apples and maple syrup]
***Pause*** Doesn’t that look like a stock photo? LOVE.
Droooooooool. Ok, ready to move on?
I can’t eat a lot after a workout so I tasted a lot of these things but didn’t even finish half. It was so refreshing to just eat what I wanted and stop when I was satisfied. The old Elina would have gone into “this is my chance to eat what I want so I better stuff my face” mode. Nope, not this time. Progress!!
I didn’t bring my camera with me everywhere, but know that there were definitely a lot of these:
That would be an incredible mojito from Emeril’s Table 10… but I actually meant drinks. We ate, we drank, the boys gambled, we saw O… and most importantly, we laughed A LOT. I forgot that I could be fun. I was fun!!! Did I mention I love vacation?
The best bites were actually from our dinner at Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill. I didn’t love my entrée (tuna steak) but the queso fundido (with goat cheese!) and cremini mushroom quesadillas (with a runny yolk over the top) were incredible. So was the side of a corn crusted chile releno with rice, beans and cheese. Awesomeness in a forkful. Feel free to quote me on that.
Ooh, ooh, our only picture together!!
Oh and the jalapeno cheddar bread was also phenom.
The tiger shrimp with roasted garlic tamale sounds better than it was. I’m so over seafood/corn combos. Do something creative, people! I suggest you double up on the other 2 apps instead!!
And skip the anise tasting tuna. Perfectly cooked, completely ruined by the spices. Booo.
Everyone else was raving about their food (it was meat so I didn’t taste it) so I say dinner was still overall a success. I’m picky, what can I say!
Last thing I really have to mention because I went back to the Aria to take pictures of it and purchase goodies to take home (mom, there may be something there for you? ) is Jean Philippe’s patisserie. I was like a kid in a candy store. It was amazing. Chocolate, candies, crepes, ice cream… as far as the eye could see. It was heaven!
Gigantic macaron lollipops!
And moving sculpture flowers!!!
I stocked up on stuff. Tiffany also bought me a dark chocolate salted caramel chocolate and I was kind of mad at it. Entirely because it was gone too fast and I wanted a whole box of them. Oh chocolate, how I love thee.
A few more pics for the road. I love the whimsical details!
So much fun!! None of us wanted to go back home. Next time we’re doing at least 4 full days!
Have you ever been to Vegas? Love/hate? Do tell
PS – Thank you on your awesome comments on my last post. I am so excited to be blogging again. It’s even better to know that I have your support and can be my rambling self and you will be there to read and follow along. Thankyouthankyouthankyou!!
PPS – For more of my ramblings, check out Russian Bites. I’ve changed the format to include more personal stories so you may like it even if you’re not into Russian food (lalalala, fingers in ears!). The post that’s coming up there may have some shocking news. Dramaaaaaaaaaa. hehe