Because nothing says romance like smoke-filled casinos and cheap buffets, Andy and I spent Valentine's in Vegas. Actually, Andy was presenting at a conference that week, so he asked me to come along. We left the kids with my mom at 8 pm MST on Sunday night and landed in Vegas at 11pm PST.
On the cab-ride to the hotel I knew it was going to be a great trip because the driver was a rocker looking chic who was driving fast and crazy while blaring Delilah's Valentine's Day special on her radio. There's nothing like soft rock love songs to get you excited. The strip, as always, was bright and lively with all kinds of characters.
When we got to our hotel, the Palazzo, it was the nicest of the Vegas hotels I've stayed in, so I was excited. Then we got to our room. And Oh. My. They had upgraded us to a suite, which I looked up on their website--it's a $650/night room. Everything was gold and marble and luxury. It had a bedroom, living/dining room, workout room, monster bathroom, powder room, and a guest bathroom. My phone camera sucks, but here are a few shots:
Andy finished up some work and I took a long bubble bath. Best trip ever already.
Today we both slept in after having slept through the entire night. It was magical. I worked out in our room while Andy did work, and then we went down to the Grand Lux Cafe. He had some kind of club and fries, and I had the best pasta carbonara ever. Seriously it was divine. He had to go to a few meetings so I worked on my thesis and dressed up for our night on the town.
We ate dinner at Wing Lei, an upscale Chinese place, and to be honest, it was a bizarre experience. We thought it was something else until we had already been seated, so we decided to stay. When we got there, there was a large round table of very drunk Asians and nobody else. The speakers switched off between Top 40 hits and what sounded like Chinese folk songs. It was eerily quiet and all of the staff stared at us while the other customers didn't speak, they just kept pouring wine and toasting each other with every swallow. I ordered pork moo shu because I've wanted to try it since Mulan, and Andy had some shrimp dish. They charged us $10 each for two sides of rice. It was good food, but not somewhere we'd want to go again. Mostly it felt awkward.
Then we went to our show for the evening: Le Reve (The Dream), a cirque du soleil type show that was an odd mix of acrobatics, synchronized swimming, dancing, warrior fighting, and strange things falling from the sky (like picnic tables, beds, people, cages, and such). Impossible to describe, but a lot of fun.
On our way back to the hotel we grabbed a hot chocolate and then watched a movie in our room. A very self-indulgent day, and a life I'm sure I could get used to.
Here are our two stellar photos of the day while we waited for Le Reve to start:
Andy left early for meetings and his presentation, so I worked out, did some homework, lounged around, and then met him for lunch. We went back to the Grand Lux and had soup and salad. Then he went back to work and I went back to the room for more thesis and some Castle and Project Runway. Andy came back and then we went out for our Valentine evening.
We ate at SushiSamba, and it was amazing. Seriously the best sushi ever. The only disappointment was that we ordered warm chocolate banana cake with rum flavored ice cream -- sounds good, right? It was a piece of cake the size of a golf ball, and you couldn't taste any chocolate or banana because the whole thing was doused in rum. It tasted like it should have been lit on fire ala flambe, but nope, just a bottle dumped on top. We'd go back in a heart-beat though, the dinner was fantastic.
Next we went to see Blue Man Group. It's a show that Andy has wanted to see forever. It's also a hard show to describe. It was funny and weird and tense. Tense because they did audience participation stuff, we were on the front row of the side section, and I so did not want to be picked. And then they did this thing where they dumped about a million yards of toilet paper from the ceiling and I had flashbacks to when I was younger and we would get toilet papered and my mom would put it all in a brown paper bag on the back of the toilet and we would be forced to use the whole bag before we could open a new roll. We were recyclers way before it was trendy. Anyway, the show had stressful moments for me. But it was also a lot of fun and I'm glad we went.
The view from our room:
Our self-pic before the Blue Man show:
After the show we walked about a mile down the strip through a maze of casinos, homeless people, prostitute solicitors, and vendors to see the fountains at the Bellagio. They run every 15 minutes, so while we waited we made friends with a cute couple from Switzerland.
Our Swiss friends took this shot:
We grabbed a cup of hot chocolate and walked down to the pirate show at Treasure Island where scantily dressed sirens and a ship full of sailors battled it out and then danced. Only in Vegas. By the time we got back to our room, it was late and I had blisters. I packed all my stuff and felt sad that I was leaving but excited to see the kiddos.
Up at 5am, kiss Andy goodbye, cab to the airport, fly home, drive to Grandma's, pick up the kids. I don't know what Andy did for the rest of his day, but mine involved a lot of this:
I bet mine was best.
It was a great trip. I'm grateful for my amazing husband.