Vacation Part 3: Las Vegas

Our very first stop driving into the city was at Pawn Stars location.  Of course.  Because we love that show!  The guys weren't in that day, which I wasn't surprised by.  It was really cool though seeing all the places that they are during the show but in real life. 

Then we went to our hotel room.  We stayed at the Trump Hotel.  We booked through Hotwire and I purchased a 5-star hotel because it was so inexpensive and it said that it was on the Strip......on the Strip It Was Not.  It was WAYYY north of the main strip, no possibility of walking, but the hotel itself and the amenities were above par.  Incredible experience.
The room:

What you can't see here, because the bathroom was so large, is that there was a large walk in shower out of view on the left of the photo (you can see the entrance to it in the reflection on the mirror), and a large jacuzzi tub to the right of the picture.  Amazeballs!!
After we got settled in, we were out on the town!  Friends of our through Bechtel, Jen and Paulie, now live in Las Vegas working on a Solar project, so they came and picked us up to go out to dinner.  We ate in Mandalay Bay at Hubert Kellers Restaurant, Fleur.  He has a restaurant in St Louis, and I've actually met him twice, so I thought it was a good idea to visit his restaurant while we were in Sin City.  Silly me though did not take a single photo with them while we were together.  I was too caught up in catching up.  :-)  The food did not disappoint (again, post to come on the food), and it was a wonderful evening with good friends.

After dinner, we walked over to one of my bucket list items:  Seeing the wine and the wine angels at Auereole.  There were no angels flying because the restaurant had closed, but it was still as awesome as I expected the wine rack to be.  I wished I was an angel in there. Ha

Jen and Paulie had to call it an early night since they had to be at work the next day, so we wandered the strip.  We walked in and out of a few hotels to get the feel and vibe of the different themes.  I just can't get over the excess in that town.  Everything is so over the top and to the extreme.  I mean, I should have expected it, but actually seeing it and being immersed in it is such a different experience. It makes perfect sense how people could get addicted to being there; it is a definitive escape from reality.

The next day, we actually ended up going back to Mandalay Bay to go through their Aquarium.
Gilla Monster!

Reflections.  Nerd Alert.
Nerd Alert Take 2: I love this photo because it looks like we're in the water.  Sharks swiming all around us.

Love this shot.

We stopped for dinner in Todd Englishs Pub.  Again, great food in a low key atmosphere.  I think that I was just still full from the night before where it looked like I hardly touched my plate.  (It was great the next morning for breakfast though, ha)
Then we walked to see the Water Show in front of the Bellagio.  It was SO HOT outside, so once the show started, there was a continuous mist from the water that was delightful!  It was beautiful to witness, regardless of the heat.

We did a bit more wandering through the Bellagio and the Venetian, and then headed home to get ready for what turned out to be one of the most exciting parts of the trip and a meal that made both of our Top 3 meals of our lifetime; dinner at CraftSteak by Tom Colicchio.  Out of this world experience.  Next post will be me droning on about how exquisite the experience was.  Pictures abound!
We rolled ourselves out of dinner and made our way across the street to the Tropicana to attend a comedy show at The Laugh Factory.  It was very low key, a small crowd, and just what we needed after dinner. 

No, that's not a Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton, or Saks 5th Avenue bag I'm carrying.....that's leftovers from dinner!!  Priceless!! 
The next morning, we headed back to San Diego to catch our return flight back to the mayhem of moving out of our house and driving half way across the country to good ol' Dallas Texas.  It was a wonderful and much needed break from reality, and I'm so happy we had the time to share together.