vegas, baby

Well no baby, actually, just Vegas. 

We had a great weekend celebrating our anniversary in Viva Las Vegas. Though the first thing you should know is that Vegas is SO not our usual type of getaway. Our weekend getaways normally involve a road trip to the mountains or the beach or woods, staying at cozy rustic inns (though we used to camp far more often), or finding a small hip hotel and exploring a new city. We haven’t been to Vegas in 10 years, and much has changed. But hey, everyone needs a little anonymity, neon and flashy cocktails once in a while, right?

We planned this little escape after my failed FET, along with my birthday weekend in Big Sur (which sadly has been burning for nearly two weeks, with the town evacuated and firefighters still battling the blaze that has engulfed the surrounding wilderness)…

We wanted an escape, and that’s what we got. 

This was the view from our styley room at the ginormous Bell.agio. We had a super cool view of the famous fountain show every 15-30 minutes. Endless amounts of entertainment right there. Oh, and our hotel had a real chocolate fountain, flowing from ceiling to floor…

I always think it is so bizarre to see this insane development in the middle of the desert — everything so opulent, excessive, and well, fake. I mean there are lakes and waterfalls in the middle of the fucking desert! Even chocolate fountains! But it is a great place to hideaway and people watch. Travelers from all around the world come to see it, as if it were the Grand Canyon or some natural wonder. It’s like Dis.ney for adults, without the fairytales and cool rides.

It was 106 degrees during the day (like being assaulted by a sauna the instant you step outside), and about 85 at night (like a blowdryer full blast when the door opens). So we spent a lot of time inside soaking up the a/c, cruising through opulent lobbies, neon casinos and fun arcades, staying as cool as possible with lots of gelato. It was hot. One day we spent over $20 just on water. 

We’re not big gamblers (if you don’t count IVF), although M did win a few bucks playing blackjack. I’m too cheap to risk much, so I took my $5 and stuck to the nickel and quarter slots. But guess what? I actually hit the jackpot! Lucky 7s across — I should’ve taken a picture. Since I only bet a quarter I won just $20, but that goes a long way in coins. Funny thing is, they don’t even give you coins anymore. You get a coupon to cash in, like it’s not even real money. Anything they can do to separate you from your cash…  

Where we did not skimp was food. We ate really well, from Paris to Venice. One cheap find was a nutella and chocolate crepe we shared at Paris (thanks, Lynn!)… heavenly. For our anniversary dinner, we treated ourselves to a fancy meal with a special tasting menu — 5 courses paired with 5 different wines. The portions were a good size (not too big or small) and the tastes were perfectly matched — light refreshing whites with seafood and luscious french reds with heartier courses. We sat in a dim cozy corner and enjoyed every bite, not realizing how buzzed we were until we stood up.

Oh, and for the first time in I can’t even tell you how long, I had the most incredible coffee with dessert. Real espresso with real steamed milk. At night even! Living large, I know. 

After dinner, we checked out a dark hip lounge with groovy ambient music, and we each enjoyed a $15 cocktail (wtf?). I sipped a mojito with some fresh watermelon puree and M had some cucumber vodka lime concoction. Now normally I’m a traditionalist when it comes to mojitos, but this place was known for its mixology, so I gave it a go and it was really good, very refreshing. 

When we were done gambling, we entertained ourselves at the arcade playing pinball, air hockey, and skeeball. (I am a pinball wizard, by the way.) Then we made the mistake of going on the roller coaster at New York, New York. Now I love me a good roller coaster, but this one just isn’t that good. M looked a little nervous when we got the front car. On the way up I joked how it would be like our life the past few years — a little scary, lots of ups and downs with surprising twists and turns. So I guess it was fitting that we both felt beat up and a little sick afterwards (too much headbanging for this old couple)…

A highlight was the Cirque du Soleil show “Love.” This is a special Cirque show that celebrates the music of the Beatles, with a young international acrobatic cast and incredible music and dance. The soundtrack is from original Abbey Road recordings that were remastered by Beatles producer George Martin and son. We absolutely loved the show. It was a full sensory experience — inspired, creative, and psychedelic (peace, love and music man!). We are definitely buying the soundtrack (on audio DVD). 

No getaway would be complete without some external reminders though. I have to say I was surprised at how many pregnant women go to Vegas, and families with strollers. Aside from not being able to bring kids into casinos and bars, the indoor smoking is awful. We are spoiled here in California. Hell, even Paris and Amsterdam have banned smoking indoors!

But there was one more thing…

Hmm. Think I should demand a refund? Maybe sue for false advertising? Because I checked, and nada. I was hoping to cash in my voucher for a baby!  And yeah, I’m sure the women in that bathroom thought I was some kind of freak breaking out the camera…

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~ by luna on July 4, 2008.

22 Responses to “vegas, baby”

  1. No sure if you meant to do it, but the first line and last picture make for a neat circle.

    It has been so long since I’ve been to Vegas. I think describing it as Disney for adults is perfect.

  2. I’ve never been to Vegas, but I hope to one day. I think Frank and I would be like you – minimal gambling, maximum eating. Great set of pictures – the humorous spin on the last gave a giggle. If only it were that easy!

  3. I’m sorry for the picture, but oh, so glad for the escape and the chance for the two of you to take a break and reconnect.

    Vegas is on the list for Mr. Spit and I.

  4. Sounds like a wonderful getaway, despite the bellies and smoking. The view from your room was so amazing and the food sounds great! Glad you were able to get away and enjoy, to really celebrate your wedding and relationship!

  5. Luna,
    Oh how I wished you had posted this before I went to Vegas. I did all the wrong things food wise – check out endlessly long buffet lines and get impatient. Ugh.
    The nutella crepe sounds heavenly. Vegas is tacky but still fun.

  6. Sounds like you did Vegas just right (well, except for the roller coaster). I’m going to be beating myself up for months now because we stayed at the Bellagio but somehow missed the chocolate fountain!

    “We’re not big gamblers (if you don’t count IVF)” … Ha! That plus the baby sign are just too perfect.

  7. Glad you had such a great time! I’ve never been to Vegas but my parents have been a couple of times. The last time they were there about 15 years after their previous visit) they said the place had changed so much they hardly recognized it. If I ever do go, that chocolate fountain will be at the top of my to-see list! Thanks for the great pictures!

  8. Vegas rocks! I love it!! It’s totally not the type of place we would normally go either, but I think that’s why I liked it. It’s so completely ridiculous there, there is nothing to do but lose yourself in the insanity. That place in the middle of the desert makes no sense. But it totally rocks! Go Vegas! Glad you had fun.

    (When I went I was also shocked about how many families go there. WTF? I don’t think anyone under 18 should be allowed to even be *on* the strip.)

  9. I’ve been to vegas twice my self and loved it. i got a kick out of the footlong hot dog (oh i’m still telling the crude jokes) at the circus-circus hotel. I was in college both times i went so I did not quite live it up at the time. all in all i had a blast, and so glad you both did to.

  10. So glad you had such a great trip.
    I love that city, precisely because it is so completely made up– like stepping the hell out of my life. Well, that and I do like to play poker (used to be blackjack, but now it’s poker). Last time we went, we saw Love, and I agree– it’s spectacular. We saw Mystere and O on previous visits (Mystere on our honeymoon, actually), but Love is really a different kind of show. We loved it.
    I want to know where you had that lovely dinner, for if/when we ever go again.
    And what’s with that baby on the sign? No neck, no butt– kinda creepy, if you ask me. 🙂

  11. Sounds like a great trip! I really enjoyed “Love” (and “O”) and Bellagio and Paris are my two favorite places to stay. Glad you had fun!! 🙂

  12. Vegas looks amazing. I’d love to visit someday. Glad you were able to get some time away together.

  13. That sign cracked me up.

  14. Do people actually stick their fingers in that chocolate fountain? Or is it just for show?

  15. I’ve never beeen to Vegas, but after your description and photographs I want to go more than ever!

    But, like deathstar, I’m slightly perturbed by the chocolate fountain. If people do actually stick their fingers in it, that must be seriously unhygienic! I hope you and M did not indulge!

  16. Glad you had such a great time! Dh and I love Vegas and the last time we went, we saw Love too and we loved it.

  17. “We’re not big gamblers (if you don’t count IVF),”

    CRACKED ME UP!! I spent far too much time in Vegas as a teenager, as the annual western girl’s soccer tourny was held there, and then it was a really sleezy depressing place. I always felt like I needed to shower after walking around a bit. Everyone tells me it’s changed considerably, and some friends and I are going next winter to partake mostly in good food and the Beatle’s show, which I’m glad to hear you liked.

    Happy anniversary! Oh, and the cocktails sound lovely. despite the price tag.

  18. Oooh! That sounds so fun. I stayed in around the same part of the Bellagio for work once, and felt like a queen taking a bath in the big tub watching 90210 on the TV that was mounted above it. I also recall eating a fried twinkie and enjoying the cheesiness of the “Thunder From Down Under” (errrr, sans husband!).

    I’m more into nature-y stuff, too — but Vegas has that something special that makes me feel all giddy with air conditioned plastic excitement. Although I swear I saw a pregnant lady smoking in one of the casinos. Thank god that was before I knew about my IF.

    Happy anniversary! I’ve been thinking we should plan a getaway like that so I have something to look forward to when our next IVF doesn’t work out (ummm, I mean if… I mean if…).

  19. LOL! I love that last picture and your comment. Woo-hoo for finding Le Creperie (or as Hubby & I call it, La Crappery). Hubby and I LOVE their crepes!

    Glad you guys were able to get away and enjoy the sensory-overloaded Vegas Strip. It’s definitely a fun place … but boy, give me a place next to a natural body of water any day!

    Happy Anniversary!

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