Travel, When in

Viva Las Vegas

This post is for all the grandmas in the world, specifically my mom. Isn’t she wonderful….to let her daughter and son-in-law fly off to Las Vegas for the weekend and leave her all alone with her amazing wonderful bright fantastic marvelous magnificent witty inquisitive competitive grandchildren ALL WEEKEND LONG??? Yes-she is. She is so amazing that she survived taking our daughter to dance class in her costume, taking both the both the kids to trunk or treat in their costumes, going to the grocery store with both of them and then nursing them back to health from a stomach flu they happened to catch from somewhere all within 24 hours. Yeah, she is that awesome. Grandma…..this posts for you!

And now to the good stuff……

Viva Las Vegas!!!! My husband recently had a work trip in Las Vegas, Nevada and I was lucky enough to join him once the work festivities were over. Can you believe this was my 1st trip to Las Vegas considering all the other places we’ve been??? Well there’s a 1st time for everything, right?

In Las Vegas, there are LOTS of hotels and resorts to stay at, both on and off the strip. Luckily, the choice was easy since the conference my husband attend was at the Aria Resort and Casino. The Aria was absolutely beautiful!!!! It is centrally located on the strip so can see everything no matter which direction you’re facing. The hotel had a crisp and clean feel with intricate origami flowers decorating the entrance and the lobby. The few from our suit was spectacular but we spent very little time there because there was so much for us to see and do. The best part….the Aria is next door to the Shops at Crystal Mall. One word describes this mall: Luxury. Tiffany and Co., Gucci, Prada, Tom Ford, Christian Louboutin, Aquazzura, Balenciaga, Fendi, Hermes, Mikimoto are just some of the stores at the Shops at Crystal. I mainly did window shopping…..I would 3 or 4 jobs just to buy 1 item from any 1 of these stores but a girl can dream, right? Needless to say, I definitely got my luxury fix for the trip. And yes….I totally had my own version of Breakfast at Tiffanys moment.

Shows, Shows and More Shows

One of our most difficult parts of Las Vegas is deciding on what you want to do while you’re there. We spent an evening in old Vegas aka Fremont street where the original Vegas casinos like the Golden Nugget and Binion’s are. There is even zip lining over the old Vegas Strip-definitely not for the faint of heart. Of course everyone goes to Vegas for the casinos and gambling but there are so many shows to see! There are literally shows for every type of genre: comedy, magic, puppets, adult only, kid friendly, dance, and even free ones. We decided to see Cirque du Soleil Mystere and it was fantastic! It was funny, entertaining and very interactive. A really nice gentlemen, sitting the front row, became INTRICATELY involved in the ENTIRE performance…..he even ended up on stage. Now I know why people don’t sit in the front row…..we sat in the second row!

And don’t forget the free shows like the water feature at the Bellagio hotel. The water performance begins every 30 minutes and “dances” to 60 different songs. Do you know how many times I stood and watched that water feature?? More than I can to share…..

Tasting Time!

Food, food and more food…..lets not forget about the fantastic food at the restaurants in Law Vegas!!! The Aria literally has something for everyone and every palate. From exquisite fish at Herringbone and Catch to french cuisine at Bardot Brasserie to American at Sage. You will definitely leave satisfied.

Once you’re out of the hotel (who would want to leave???) the food options really get interesting. On our bus tour we passed by Nacho Daddy, a born and “chipped” Las Vegas restaurant serving gourmet nachos and awarding winning margaritas. Alas, we didn’t get to eat there but it is definitely on my list for my return visit. However….I did eat at the top of the Eiffel Tower….in Las Vegas! The Eiffel Tower restaurant is superb and literally has the best spot to see all the sites and sounds in Vegas. With its upscale atmosphere and perfectly placed window seats in view of the Bellagio fountains, its the perfect spot for rekindling that loving feeling….. Moving on…..After a day (and night) of sightseeing, a little gambling, and everything in between it is was nearly midnight so of course we were hungry (again). What better place to stop than Gordon Ramsey Burger. HOLY COW!!! Those burgers were huge and stacked with fix’ns and it was oh so delicious. Plus, you can get side order of fries, onion rings or sweet potato fries that comes with curry ketchup-which is fantastic. We did go and see the outside of Hell’s Kitchen….which has a 6 month waiting list (note to self: schedule for 2020). Last stop on our eatery was Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House (can you tell we like fish??). Delicious! Fantastic! Savory! Spicy! Bam!! That’s all I can say.

By far, this has been one of my favorite trips. Its sitting in my top 5 for trips; very close to my Germany visit which is in the top 3. We will definitely be going back, surprisingly there was still a lot we didn’t do or see. Also, Las Vegas is actually very family friendly so I’m sure I will be planning a family trip there in the near future. Until the next adventure…..safe travels!

Travel, When in

Budapest and the Kitchen

Recently, my husband took a work trip to Budapest, Hungary-a new country for his travel portfolio! He was responsible for implementing a new branch for his company and hiring all new staff, talk about a steep learning curve! He thoroughly enjoyed his time and did lots of site seeing-from the Castle District, St. Stephen’s Bascilica Cathedral to the Eye of Budapest. His other favorite thing….. Hungarian goulash! A hearty dish with lots of vegetables, it kept him warm during the cold season in Hungary.

Budapest, Hungary

Meanwhile, back at home we were in the midst of house repair chaos. Unfortunately for me, I decided it would be a good idea to run the dishwasher and leave straight for work so that I would have one less thing to do when we got home from work and school. Just the usual stuff….dinner, homework, school reading for 20 minutes, piano, etc, etc, etc. Boy was I wrong! Instead I came home to a flooded kitchen because (drum roll please)….the GARBAGE DISPOSAL went out! Really?? Come on!!! It’s amazing how 2 completely different appliances are so intricately connected. In the words of our son….Fun Fact: Did you know that the dishwasher drains INTO the garbage disposal and if it stops working ALLLL the water drains out of the bottom of the disposal?? Now I know.

Furthermore, we had scheduled drywall repair for our kitchen ceiling which ended up taking 3 days to complete! When it came time to paint, I found out the paint manufacturer no longer sold our particular color and didn’t keep the formula to reproduce it. Really?? This meant I spent 2 days trying to match paint samples from Lowes and Home Depot to paint that has been in our kitchen for 10 years. Did I find an exact match? No. Did I find a close match? Yes. Is it obvious they don’t match? Yes!! Luckily, nobody walks into your house looking up at your ceiling, at least I hope they don’t. …So much for having less work in the evening. By the end of the week, I had learned more about appliances and paint colors than I care to admit but we survived.

And without further a due, here are your surviving chaos tips:

  • Run your dishwasher in the evening or at night
  • Crock-pot meals are your friend (The day the kitchen flooded, I made a Crock-pot meal. It saved dinner and part of my evening)
  • Have an emergency (garbage disposal replacement isn’t expensive and isn’t cheap)
  • Have a sense of humor (laugh to keep from crying)
  • Red Wine (trust me on this won-you’ll need it!)