Monday, July 16, 2007

Viva Las Vegas!

Cheesy as it sounds, that might be my favorite Elvis song. Not on its merits as a song (which are admittedly few), but more for the celebratory sense of a trip to Vegas.

We're back. We left Wednesday night and got back yesterday afternoon. It was a great trip. In no particular order, nine highlights:

1. The room was great. We had a spa room at the Excalibur, which in addition to the joy of soaking in our own hot tub whenever we darned well pleased, is a perfect location for other attractions.

2. We saw a baby dolphin at the Mirage. He was.... just ridiculously cute. They named him Sergeant Pepper, which... eh. I guess you would have to be a Beatles fan (which I am not). We nicknamed him Boing Boing which definitely fit his bouncy, playful demeanor.

3. We got to pet stingrays at Mandalay Bay's Shark Reef. They were sooooooooooooooo cute! Not that into being petted, quite honestly, but most of them were okay with a little stroke on their backs. I think the handlers trim their barbs so they can't sting people. The Shark Reef is actually a very cool aquarium, with lots of interesting creatures. The eponymous sharks are plentiful and scary, but there are also sea turtles (huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge!) and a lot of pretty little fish.

4. Finally went on the Manhattan Express, the roller coaster at New York New York, which I hadn't gotten to on any previous trips to Vegas. It is scarier than it looks. Not the scariest coaster I have ever been on, by any means (I famously repeated Hail Marys on one at Six Flags), but pretty freaking scary for a 30-something who hasn't been on a roller coaster in about a decade. I was totally game up until we sat in the car, and it occurred to me that this might not have been such a hot idea after all. The same thought occurred to me as we approached the foot of the first hill. I stated, very matter-of-fact as if discussing the weather, "oh shit!" and off we went. After two big drops, a corkscrew thingy, and two sets of several little hills, we wobbled off the ride, with jimmy legs and a powerful thirst after screaming ourselves dry.

5. Had quite possibly the best dinner of my life at StripSteak in Mandalay Bay. This is a Michael Mina restaurant that very successfully marries haute cuisine with classic American dishes. DH's prime rib was a perfect example: accompanying the meat were a demi-glace "au jus," and horseradish creme fraiche. DH asked me what the au jus was, being thicker, richer and glossier than the usual au jus you get with prime rib. I tasted it and geeked out on how you make demi-glace, why it tastes like that, and why it is so shiny.

Me, I got a big filet mignon with a veritable slab of foie gras on top. Not just a wee little slice, but a piece the size of a toddler's fist, grilled just until the inside was gooey and plopped atop my steak.

They started us off with a complimentary appetizer of french fries deep-fried in duck fat, which I must sadly report were absolutely fabulous. There were three versions, each with a different seasoning and paired with a coordinating dip -- the truffled one was my favorite, of course.

6. Agent Provocateur makes the best bras ever (Forum Shops at Caesar's). So beautiful, such a perfect fit, and so expensive that I was nearly moved to tears.

7. There are wine bars on the strip, believe it or not. The best one is 55 Degrees at Mandalay Bay. Details will follow on our wine blog later in the week.

8. We aren't big gamblers, actually. Other than a couple of sports bets, we didn't do much gambling. We finally resorted to it in earnest to kill time before dinner at Stripsteak on Saturday night. I played video poker for about an hour on the same 20 bucks. We didn't win anything, but it was a good run.

9. We saw Jubilee at Bally's, which was very good. The production was high quality, and it struck me as a very classic Vegas show. And, really, when all the showgirls line up and do that kicking thing in perfect unison, it is quite impressive.

And now, for the obligatory knitting content. I haven't been knitting much lately. I have had some wrist and hand pain, and am trying not to stress them more than is strictly necessary. Accordingly, I didn't bring any knitting for the plane, and I am probably going to be knitting less over the coming weeks until I get some strength back.

I am also officially on a yarn fast, due to the aforementioned shopping at Agent Provocateur and the decrease in knitting. I will not be purchasing any yarn for myself for the rest of the year. Two exceptions: 1. running out of yarn on a WIP; 2. the Knit and Crochet Show in September , for which I already registered, and then only for a (as in one) planned project. No impulse buys. I will keep you posted!

1 comment:

Your VVS Pal said...

Well it sounds like you had a LOVELY vacation! Perhaps on the little vacation you're taking here, you'll get to add a little yarn to your stash even AFTER your splurges in Vegas! :D

- Your Vacation Swap Pal