Thursday, May 26, 2011

Aureole deliciousness

I'm an idiot and somehow I deleted my earlier post. So, I will try my best to duplicate it.

Tuesday night's dinner was one that ranks in my 10 top. We went to Charlie Palmer's Aureole in Mandalay Bay. The restaurant boasts a giant glass wine tower tended by "flying wine angels." We only saw one "fly" and he looked more stalker stocker than angel.
The rosso bruno tomato and artisanal burrata salad was one of the best that I ever had. Burrata is a cheese made from mozzarella and cream...AHMAZING! The tomatoes were heirloom and the pesto was really light and perfect. And, there was some sort of parmesany, yet sweet crisp that was awesome. I really liked my halibut too, which was in a ginger sauce with udon noodles. 

I struggled with making a dessert selection because there were a lot of great options. To our surprise, our server brought two additional desserts for our table from the chef, whom he said was pleased that several of us were members of the clean plate club (guilty as charged). We had SEVEN desserts on the table for five people. I liked the sorbet sampler refreshing and a great presentation (see the triangle in the bottom right of the photo).

After dinner, we walked the Strip so Julia could see as many hotels/casinos as possible during her first visit. We toured Mandalay Bay, Luxor, New York New York, MGM Grand and The Bellagio.

At MGM Grand, we played roulette and Pai Gow poker. Amazingly, I walked away with extra money in my clutch (after my iPad win, could I get any luckier?). Julia, however, was not so lucky (her ticket below says $.08).

By the time we hit The Bellagio, my feet were walking by themselves. I had a combined total of sleep during my three nights in Vegas of less than 15 hours (totally worth it). But, the ceilings were too pretty to miss and thankfully The Bellagio connects to Vdara via a walkway.

This morning, I napped with the Pickle, so I think I'm back on track.

Good to see you, Vegas. Hope to be back soon for lucky trip #7.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


When Phil and I last came to Vegas in December 2009, City Center was just opening. The hotels looked gorgeous and the elite stores in Crystals were something to see. So, I was excited when I learned I'd be staying at Vdara during this trip.

The hotel is beautiful and LEED certified for sustainability. There's no casino, which was refreshing. (Aria next door has one.) As soon as you open the doors to the lobby, the most wonderful, clean scent greets you. I don't know what it was, but I always found myself smiling as soon as I smelled it.

The suites rock! They're huge: kitchenette, sitting area with couches and chairs and a flatscreen, bed and another flatscreen and a bathroom with a tub and shower. And, Aveda products!

I was able to watch the Bellagio's fountain show from my room and I had a nice view of the Strip.

Vdara connects to the Bellagio via a walkway, and there's a tram within City Center that connects the other hotels and Crystals. Cosmopolitan is right next door and within walking distance, although I will admit that we took a cab back from Marquee ;).

Loved Vdara, and I'd stay there again. Also would love to stay at Cosmopolitan too!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I like to disco

OK, so there was no disco last night, but we did have an AHMAZING time at the Marquee in Cosmopolitan. Frankly, I'm surprised that we made it out at all since we were at the trade show from 7 to 7 after a night of limited sleep. I consumed four cups of Starbucks coffee during the course of the day followed by a double shot of espresso at 8 p.m. just to keep me going. Since it's Julia's first visit, we've been checking things off her to-do list during our evening downtime. Visiting a nightclub was a first for me, so I was motivated to suck it up and stay out.

First, the Cosmopolitan is just beautiful. There are chandeliers everywhere. We picked Marquee because it's the only mega-club open while we're here (Tao and Tryst are fun, but only open Thursday thru Saturday) and because of the buzz. During dinner at Sushi Roku (yum) we signed up for the guest list online, which ended up being a great move since we got comped to get in after about an hour wait in line. There were all kinds of lines: guest list, locals, hotel guests, table rezzies, etc. Since we heard table rezzies require at least a $200 min, we knew we weren't going that route despite how fast that line moved.

After waiting forever (we were so tired we barely chatted), we went up in a party elevator to the 17th floor and walked into an awesome scene: tons of people, DJ on stage, lights, cool mist blowing, giant screen. Just fun. We weaved our way down into the DJ pit and danced, and then went outside for a little bit for the view. There were gaming tables outside ($50 min). I read that there were smaller rooms too, so we walked up a couple flights of stairs to the library. It's super intimate with its own bar, swanky decor, and a closed off balcony with a view of the main room.

Two seconds after we walked in - no joke - we were asked to join a table because a group had more liquor than they could drink...who turns that down? Our new friends said their table rez was for $1,000, but I can't imagine how that could possibly be right. Thankfully they were really nice and not creepy. The super cozy leather couches rocked and were a welcome break for Julia's badass heels.

We got back just before 3 a.m. (who am I????...I have not seen the other side of 2 a.m. in YEARS) and got up by 8 to start another busy day at the show.

Going to dinner tonight and then who knows. I fly back in the morning.

Can't hyperlink within the blog for some reason, so here are some links:


Cosmo lobby:

Julia's shoes:

Mwah Monday

I am blowing kisses at yesterday's awesomeness:

Great meetings at the show
Won an iPad at the show's social media pavilion (YAY! I never win anything in Vegas)
Scored some fashion finds....stripes...on sale!
Yummy dinner at Sushi Roku (baked lobster roll was fantastic)
Fun night at Marquee in Cosmopolitan

More deets later...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Beso Las Vegas

It's 11:30 p.m. Vegas time, and I just got back to my hotel room after a yummy dinner, some window shopping and people watching.

At Beso, Eva Longoria's restaurant at Crystals in City Center, Julia and I recalibrated from the flight with some lovely pear and elderberry sangria. (We were tempted to try Eva's Cadillac margarita for $99 - what the eff is Persian lime juice anyway? - but we abstained.)

I really wanted to try the
chili rellenos with short rib and goat cheese, but they were all out. I settled for some guac and a salad with an interesting orange champagne vinegarette.

During our people watching as party goers headed to post-Billboard Awards gatherings, I lamented that the wardrobe I brought is not slutty enough. Actually, I own nothing slutty enough to compete with all of the skin and sparkles we saw. But I will make do.

It's time for bed, little mouse little mouse (kisses to Dylan)...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sixth time's a charm?

Headed to Vegas on a work trip and hoping to score big with great meetings, weather, dining, shopping and winning. Not too much to ask, no?

Based on my calculations, this will be my sixth visit to the Strip. So what's different about this trip? I'm sans hubs, lover of all things Vegas, and I'm a mama away from her Pickle. (I directed Dylan to abstain from reaching any milestones while I'm gone. My days away arms Phil with several hours of drilling him to say Dada v. Mama...I'm doubting our Skype chats will be effective training sessions.:))

I'm also experimenting with traveling with antravel instead of a laptop. I'm a little leery of forgoing access to my work file network, so I emailed myself a bunch of docs I might need and have been downloading apps like Docs to Go to let me create and edit Word and PowerPoint files. I'm traveling with a colleague (a Vegas newbie!), and she has graciously agreed to let me comandeer her computer should I run into issues. I have to say, so far, I'm loving the feel of my lighter purse and not needing to take out a gadget while moving through airport security. I do miss not having a way to save photos so I can upload them to the blog. Unless anyone has better suggestions, I'm planning to link to my twit pics.

Tomorrow will require lots of caffeine to keep my batteries running. We have late dinner rezzies tonight (Julia shares my love of restaurant hopping) and I expect to be a little jet lagged. Tomorrow, our 12-hour work day starts at 7 a.m. You know I'll be hitting the coffee shop at 6:45.

Can't wait to introduce Julia to Vegas' chiming, clanging background noise (and Pai Gow Poker)! And, the Billboard Music Awards are at the MGM Grand tonight, so maybe we'll rub shoulders with some celebs.

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