Tuesday, June 18, 2013

My Adventure in Las Vegas

Yes, I am finally blogging my adventure. What happened in Vegas is not staying there. And, you, my dear friend, have the opportunity to see my little adventure.

Day 1
We had a 6 am flight out of St. Louis, so we arrived in Las Vegas around 10 am after the time changes. Our room was in the Venetian...telling you that it is huge is an understatement.

We had to have a map to get from the front desk to the room, as it was quite the maze of hallways. By the end of our stay, I think I may have been able to cut off 20 seconds of the 5 minute walk.

After dropping our bags, my husband Mike and I headed out to explore the shops at Caesar's Palace. The architecture and decor was astounding. But what really got me was the stores...every high end store you could think of was in one building. But wait, not just once, but two or three times.

Yes, that's right...3 Rolex shops all in one area. And 3 Louis Vuitton shops, 3 Gucci shops...you get my drift. It was definitely fun to window shop!

Mike is a big fan of Hell's Kitchen, so for lunch, we found Gordon's Pub and Grill. The Best. Burger. Ever. Period.

Ramsay's Pub and Grill - best burger ever.
With gigantic french fries.

By this time I was running on 6 hours of sleep over the past 3 days, so we grabbed a nap for the afternoon. We had a little soire to attend that night - the Skullapalooza.

Mike and I ready for the Skullapalooza.

The Skullapalooza was a private dinner with entertainment at a fancy restaurant in Vegas, hosted by a vendor that Mike works with (we were in Vegas for his business trip, by the way).

We were in a private room of the Dal Toro...the room that held 10 to 12 exotic cars. You know, those cars that they price with the word "million" behind the number.

After an absolutely delicious dinner, a street illusionist came in. You've seen the You Tube videos of these guys - making things float, cards appearing on the ceiling (the specific one with your initials on it)...yeah, one of those guys.

Well, this guy went to each of the tables (there were 4 of them) and performed 3 illusions for each table. He was A-S-T-O-U-N-D-I-N-G. I still have the dollar bill that I wrote my initials on, and he moved the seal on the back from one side to the other side of the bill. 

Day 2
I was on my own today.

I am rarely on my own. I always have someone with me - husband, son, mom, sister, friend - at least one of them is with me. So this was new for me - to be totally out on my own, to go in the direction I wanted to go in, and stop where I wanted to stop.

I spent the morning walking down the Strip, observing people and looking at the architecture. I had my camera in hand, so I was creating photos as well.

Then, as I was crossing an overpass, I saw the light on the mountains. From the street, you couldn't see it, so I had to get up high. Right across from me was the Eiffel Tower.

So I headed up. Granted, I had to wait 30 minutes for it to reopen due to high winds...but I was first in line!

I made it to the observation deck in the Eiffel Tower!

It was windy up there - and cold! Most people stayed maybe 10 minutes. No way! I was staying as long as I could stand it. I think I last a little over a half an hour before I headed back down.

The mountains were lit with a gorgeous light you could only fully see from a high vantage point.

After my climb, I was ready for lunch and a margarita...

Table for one at Margaritaville.

By afternoon, more tourists were hitting the streets.

Do you see what I see? A Storm Trooper - really!

There were a few "standard" things you would see on the streets besides all the people, including costumed characters. I saw Bert and Ernie, Oscar the Grouch, Cookie Monster, Hello Kitty, Power Rangers, Smurfs, Elvis, Sponge Bob, Mickey and Minnie, Angry Birds, Scooby Doo, and more.

What were they doing?

For a couple bucks, you could take their picture.


As soon as you hold your camera up for a photo, they will turn away unless you have dropped some money into their bucket or hat.

The Storm Trooper and Darth Vader taking a break.

For dinner we met up with some hometown friends who were in Vegas for the business trip as well. They talked us into going to Sushi Samba, telling us that they have other food to order besides sushi.

Mike and I had no desire whatsoever to try sushi.

We sat down, the waiter came...and there was no menu.

I knew we were in trouble.

We ordered our drinks, and the waiter brought us our first course. Pretty good.

And so was the second course.

Then the third course was thin strips of meat that you dipped in spices and sauce and then laid on a 700 degree stone for a few seconds. Oh, yeah...it was delicious!

So the meal rocked. We had to have dessert as well. The chocolate mousse thing was "to-die-for" so good.

Some of the food at Sushi Samba.
I actually ate sushi - and liked it.
Day 3
I was on my own again. And I was feeling adventurous. <grin>

Let's see...the Grand Canyon is just a short flight away...why not???

After a few phone calls, I was waiting for the shuttle to pick me up. And I was thrilled. Not just regularly thrilled, but so excited that I could have peed in my pants.

The helicopter had giant windows, and I was next to one them - an answer to a prayer. My fellow riders were 3 folks from Canada and 3 from Ireland. The pilot was born in the States, but his parents were Canadians.

After a brief safety lecture, we were off, flying into the beautiful blue sky. I was quite giddy and couldn't stop smiling. :)

We flew over the Hoover Dam, along the North Rim of the Canyon, and then landed next to the Colorado River for a picnic lunch. Those 30 minutes on the Canyon floor felt like a mere 5 minutes. One day I will go back...

Handed my camera off to get proof that I was in the Grand Canyon.

When I arrived back at the hotel, Mike was a little jealous. Oh well, guess I'll just have to go again!

That evening, we walked the boulevard, holding hands. Between kids, work, and activities, we just don't get that opportunity too often, so we strolled along, just enjoying the time together.

After awhile, we happened upon a spray paint artist. We then realized that we had seen a You Tube video of this guy. Without hesitation, I requested the New York skyline. Just 10 minutes later, he presented us with the artwork:

Original painting just for us!

Day 4
I slept in.

We had to leave today. I spent the morning packing up and just relaxing in the room. Really, I would have been happy to just sit and stare at the view from our room, watching the light as it changed on the mountains in the distance.

Smartphone panorama of the view from our room at the Venetian.

 It was a spectacular trip. I knew I couldn't fit in everything I wanted to do, so I just kept in mind that I would have to come back again.

To purchase my work, please visit my website at www.marcinkdesigns.com.

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Tyann Marcink
documenting life