After an amazing three days in the desert of Arizona, it was time to head to… Las Vegas!
Second Stop: Las Vegas
I know what you’re thinking… you’re thinking, what an awesome vacation! What a fun getaway! Well not quite: This second leg was TOTALLY a WORK TRIP.
After I’d already planned my getaways to Phoenix and Kansas City, my company decided to add in a third trip to Las Vegas for training. I tried to convince my boss that this would be too much, but he insisted the training was critical to my success. So, I flew directly from Phoenix to Las Vegas to begin this work adventure.
Once I arrived… I was excited to be there! There is something about the energy in Las Vegas that I just love. People are having a blast, spending time celebrating whatever brings them into town (even training), and you always have a chance of running into someone you know…
Tiffany and I had dinner a few weeks back and realized we’d both be in Vegas at the same time. Since our schedules stay kind of crazy, we had to take advantage of this opportunity to see each other, especially considering the travel coincidence. I met up with Tiffany and her travel companions at PJ Clarke’s where they were enjoying $1 oysters. I think we ALL know that I politely declined the raw shellfish. So nice to see her though!!
After meeting up with Tiffany, I headed over to the hotel where I was staying. Since my company was footing the hotel bill, I didn’t get to stay here…
Instead, we stayed at the Courtyard, tucked away from the strip. This was probably a good idea, considering we had sales training from 8am-5pm every day. I traveled with two other girls on my team, and it ended up being a pretty fun trip as a result. But, I think it’s fair to mention that Vegas is a weird trip, when it is for work.
The ladies and I dined Monday night at my VERY favorite restaurant in Las Vegas: Firefly Tapas Kitchen & Bar.
Firefly is known for their tasty, authentic tapas dishes, including the gazpacho recipe I featured last week. You also might remember that Angela’s rehearsal dinner was held at this amazing restaurant last summer. It’s always a crowd-pleaser, and in my opinion, a MUST-EAT locale in Vegas. It was a perfect meal to kick off this Vegas trip! Note: After we visited, we learned about the bad press Firefly had at another location… but let me assure you, the meal we had was perfection at the West Sahara location.
On Tuesday night, after training, we rushed out to get to the strip… because we had reservations and tickets to a show!
During breaks in class, we were able to secure a table at Lemongrass at Aria, a FANTASTIC Thai restaurant. It was tough to decide what to have for dinner, so we decided to share a few things:
Carla ordered the Chicken Pad Thai and I opted for the Basil Beef… both were ABSOLUTELY delish! Carla and Erin insisted on ordering dessert, and on introducing me to Mango Sticky Rice. This is DEFINITELY something I will eat again… so yummy!
After dinner, we rushed off to see our show which was showing right there at Aria…
The show was described around town as “SURREAL”, and interestingly enough… I didn’t even look at the description before we bought the tickets. All I had to see was that it was “Cirque du Soleil” and I was in! I didn’t expect to see spiders, snakes, and eyeballs… but there they were!
I also didn’t expect to take any pictures during the show… but when the clown on the left floated above us, I couldn’t resist. And, the show was so beautiful… I just had to capture it somehow.
What was my favorite part of the show? The bottom center picture above was HANDS DOWN my favorite part. Erin had seen this piece before during a trip to Cancun, but it was the first time I’d ever seen sand paintings. Unbelievable. There was a lady creating the most beautiful pictures with her hands… out of sand, and they projected it as part of the show. AWESOME and incredibly artistic.
After the show, we felt like we needed to walk around the strip a little bit. Vegas was pumping in all that oxygen, making the night feel young. And, that might be what you see below… a little extra oxygen making it even more fun to try on the Zarkana hats in the gift shop. Good times…
Next stop was my favorite hotel on the Strip. You might remember similar pictures from Angela’s Vegas Wedding recaps and my trip to see Garth Brooks in December. I love the Cosmopolitan…. that gorgeous Chandelier Bar and that tasty signature pink Cosmo they serve.
We also walked over to see the Fountains at the Bellagio… really, is there a more spectacular sight in Sin City? The fountain display that we saw was choreographed to “Proud to be an American” by Lee Greenwood. While we were hoping for Frank Sinatra or Andrea Bocelli, this patriotic song was also fantastic!
What a great night! After all that running around and another full day of class, I was beat when Wednesday night arrived. I made plans to meet up with some family while I was in town, and saved that for my last night in Vegas.
My cousin Drew and I had dinner off strip at Yard House. (Who doesn’t love Yard House??) Such a great time catching up with him and sharing stories about our families on the East coast. He makes me want to take a trip to Ohio soon to visit aunts and uncles and cousins, and of course, my sweet Grandpa.
While I was incredibly tempted to hit the strip to have a Cable Car martini at the Bellagio after dinner, I did the right thing and made it an early night. After all, I still had one leg of my trip remaining.
To Be Continued…