Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Las Vegas

I love Las Vegas the way some people love Disneyland. I'd spend a weekend there every month if I had the time, and the money. It brings back childhood memories of swimming pools, buffets with exotic foods (like pineapple and shrimp, ooh-la-la), and arcades. Now, there are the actually exotic restaurants, shows and attractions.

Of course, when most people think of Vegas, they think of gambling. And I spent a fair amount of time hunting for my favorite slot machine - Invaders From The Planet Moolah! You can play it for pennies, and I always make money. But, since I play pennies, I win pennies.

We did a Craps lesson...and were utterly confused. We did a blackjack lesson...and I quickly learned that I need to practice on the machines before I start betting $5 a hand! Jeff did a poker tournament, but I think we're both more comfortable betting change than dollars.

All of the shows don't allow cameras...but we really loved O and Phantom of the Opera.

We treked to the end of the strip to check out the last day of the Sahara, which closed while we were at Stratosphere...a big problem, since we needed to go through Sahara to get to the monorail back down the strip!

At Stratosphere, Jeff had to try the rides he'd seen on TV. I hadn't seen the program, so I said I would do the one that looked like a roller coaster. Little did I know...it launches you off the side of the building and dangles you there!! Jeff did the one that twirls you beside the building, and the one that blasts to the top of the tower. Can't say I'll be trying either!

One of the attractions on my to-do list for this trip was Sigfried & Roy's Secret Garden @ The Mirage. I wanted to take pictures of the animals, plus the weather was so gorgeous I wanted to be outside!

We could get amazingly close to the dolphins. They don't have show times, but interact with the trainers and the 'trainer for the day' participants often. Some day, I want to get in teh water with dolpins. But...not in a tank. Maybe in the ocean.


The big cats rotate through viewing exhibits, spending most of their time in their own lair. The white lions were gorgeous, and the white tiger cubs (born at the facility) were quite playful.
Any city with  dozens of posh restaurants is bound to have some haute cuisine (natch). We had a great time tasting as much as we could. We learned the pre-show pice fixe meals are a great deal, and a wonderful way to see what a reataurant is all about. With just a few options for apps, entree and desert chosen to expedite your meal so you don't miss your show, you can get in, get out, and probably come back later for more!

When we saw Phantom of the Opera, we went to  Pinot Brasserie @ The Venetian. The pre-show menu was very limited so we ordered the same thing - salad, filet, and croissant chocolate pudding...wait, Jeff opted for ice cream over the pudding. Shocker.

When we saw O, we went to Fix @ Bellagio. This was our favorite restaurant of the entire trip! We decided to order different things from the menu and share. For starters, we had the creamy tomato soup with goat cheese grilled cheese and the Fix version of a Caesar salad. Delish. Next came truffle penne and filet mignon. Amaze. We finished up with cake and shake (chocolate cake & an espresso milkshake) and banana doughnuts with chocolate and peanut butter dipping sauces. Bliss!

Another favorite was Spago @ the Forum Shops. We went for lunch, but instead of getting lunch, we opted for 3 appetisers instead so we could try more things. The quesadilla was our favorite, though both the calamari & chicken sausage pizza were great.
 We also made quite the breakfast find in The Sugar Factory @ Paris. Red Velvet pancakes anyone? What about french toast with carmelized bananas and two kinds of chocolate sauce? A brie and ham crepe topped with apples and toasted almonds? Eggs Benedict on scalloped potatoes instead of a soggy English muffin? Next time we're in Vegas, we'll be there every day before noon!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Pink Heart Society: Wild Card Weekend - In Vegas!

The Pink Heart Society: Wild Card Weekend - In Vegas!: "The Pink Heart Society editor Jenna Bayley-Burke has a mad obsession with Las Vegas. In fact, she just got back, and it trying to plan anot..."

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Pink Heart Society: Writers Wednesday : Slushing Through

The Pink Heart Society: Writers Wednesday : Slushing Through: "Where The Pink Heart Society editor Jenna Bayley-Burke slinks in late to talk about...waiting. THE WAITING Patience is not a virtue I po..."

Friday, May 13, 2011

Foodalicious : Apple Brie Braid

bread dough




egg wash

(the perfect holiday breakfast bread)

Monday, May 09, 2011


TangledHow cute is this movie! Rapunzel is one of my favorite stories because the princess has a hand in her own rescue. This made the hero out to be a bit of a dolt, but whatever works for comedic effect!

I found the animation very pretty in this film, and however they animated the hair really worked. The animation was lost on the kiddos, the boys loved the thugs from the pub and the girl loved Rapunzel and the horse, Max. She wasn't a fan of the villainess, Gothel, but no one is supposed to be.

My big one had a few basic concerns - like who built the tower in the first place, did it have indoor plumbing, how the chameleon made it up there, and how Rapunzel got enough vitamin D if she stayed inside all the time.

I just made him another bowl of popcorn. I don't think that boy will ever buy into the suspension of belief!

Monday, May 02, 2011


I'm sharing my crockpot chicken noodle curry at The Pink Heart Society today. And it's making me hungry. I know what's for dinner tonight!