Vegas: June 2016

With this being the double-Ironman year, we weren’t sure we’d be able to get to Vegas much, if at all, this year. Luckily, we were able to swing a super quick trip in late June. We headed to one of my cousins’ wedding in Indianapolis and then jumped a plane (after a lengthy delay in O’Hare …) to Las Vegas. The delay meant we got to the Bellagio around 2 or 3 in the morning – not ideal. We convinced the front desk to give us a room that we would happily vacate for our regular reservation the next day just so we could get some glorious sleep.

Sleep … was had. So was some pampering at the spa (new thing for us). I didn’t get pictures from the spa because they’re kind of not allowed, but … why have I never done a spa in Vegas before? So awesome. We got massages, hung out in the saunas/steam rooms/hot tubs … pure bliss. Totally going to be a thing for us from now on. We did a little gambling, a little eating, a little window-shopping, a little pool time, a little walking around … it was a good mini vacation.

 photo vegas2_zps3w6mid56.jpg
I talked Brandon into going to Madame Tussaud’s while we were waiting for our actual room to be ready. I hadn’t been since I went to the London location way back in … 1998? and Brandon had never been. Since, you know, Vegas, here’s a picture with him and the two “Ocean’s Eleven” stars.

 photo vegas3_zpsepinrdhd.jpg
Because The Rock.

 photo vegas4_zpsmqillkmo.jpg
Boxing fan had to get in on this.

 photo vegas5_zps0ivks4ic.jpg
With Grumpy Cat (a.k.a. Tardar Sauce).

 photo vegas10_zps9sxisfe1.jpg
I don’t remember why there was a cop car in Madame Tussaud’s (something to do with “The Hangover,” maybe?), but I had to get a picture in it.

 photo vegas14_zpsesysyafn.jpg
With margaritas at Margaritaville.

 photo vegas15_zpshxxs0j13.jpg
Ocean display back at the Bellagio Conservatory!

 photo vegas22_zpsqooxno18.jpg
Chilling at the pool.

 photo vegas23_zpshq5jns4r.jpg
Living the life.

 photo vegas24_zps5en5pcla.jpg
The new park outside of Monte Carlo/New York New York.

 photo vegas25_zpsqrkazo66.jpg
Awesome sugar/chocolate display outside Jean-Philippe Patisserie in Aria.

 photo vegas27_zpsmnonuicu.jpg
So the secret pizza place inside the Cosmopolitan? Exists. The pizza is no T. Anthony’s, but it’s good. And awesome. And no, it doesn’t actually have a name, nor am I going to reveal its actual location. But it’s easily found, if you know where to look.

 photo vegas28_zpsmrz1beco.jpg
Fishy display at night!

 photo vegas30_zpsyyp8rbst.jpg
View from our room.

#VegasSeason

The Las Vegas tourism department bills the summer as #VegasSeason. This is ostensibly to get people to travel there despite the fact the days get into the low-100s. Yes, it gets hot.

After our trip last November, we weren’t planning on heading back for almost a year until October 2015, when we race Ironman 70.3 Silverman. Plans changed, however, when the stupid Bellagio decided to sucker me in with a harmless tweet. I am a sucker for aquarium/fishy type things. (see: blog theme) We decided to call and see how long the exhibition was going on – until September, they said. So if I wanted to see it, I had to go out before our race.

As luck/fate would have it … we got a few days off together (the few days after the concert in the previous post, actually), so we said “screw it” and decided to go.

We went out early Wednesday morning, stayed the night, and left late-ish Thursday afternoon. We also tried out a new MLife property – the Mirage.

 photo vegas_zpsuuzia9se.jpg
Next to a siren statue in the lobby.

 photo vegas4_zps43rzgwnp.jpg
Anchor Bar, the official buffalo wing inventors, now have an outpost in the Grand Canal Shops at the Venetian. As it was National Buffalo Wing day, Brandon got them for lunch.

 photo vegas7_zpsbx22ax5x.jpg
Flamingos at the Flamingo.

 photo vegas8_zpsfzcozhqh.jpg

 photo vegas10_zpseklxn5bd.jpg

 photo vegas15_zpsktx3lcsy.jpg

 photo vegas16_zpsui5cnq1g.jpg

 photo vegas17_zpslgxsgaie.jpg

 photo vegas18_zpsmyqkxzln.jpg

 photo vegas19_zpsmv2oz7v8.jpg
Happy to be in the Bellagio Conservatory with aaaallllll the fishies.

 photo vegas22_zpsvmo5bpdw.jpg
View from our room at the Mirage.

 photo vegas24_zpsxv1yz288.jpg
Thai shrine thingy outside Caesars by Serendipity.

 photo vegas26_zpsplbukycp.jpg
Poolside.

 photo vegas28_zpsspiudtyl.jpg
I’d say working on our tans, but we prefer our paleness, so just hanging out?

November Vegas Trip: Part Two

Friday morning dawned and we were ready for another day of adventures – most of which I’ll put here, except for the Neon Museum, which deserves its own post.

The day, in photos.

 photo friday_zps1795768d.jpg
Blueberry Hill, a local diner chain we hit up for breakfast. Very good.

 photo friday3_zps0b406b29.jpg
Brandon looking down at his breakfast. You get a sense of the decor here, too.

 photo friday4_zpse0cc57dc.jpg
Nelson hates “Pawn Stars,” and therefore is cranky we’re driving past the pawn shop.

 photo lvnhm_zps47acb245.jpg
Dinosaurs in a dinosaur footprint outside the Las Vegas Natural History Museum.

 photo lvnhm2_zpsb2d71f4c.jpg
Dinosaur sculpture.

 photo lvnhm3_zps669fe770.jpg
Buffalo. Pretty sure all the animals in this museum were real and taxidermied …

 photo lvnhm5_zpscfed5b0a.jpg
Sting ray. We are the ray whisperers, it’s kind of awesome.

 photo lvnhm9_zps035469b4.jpg
“Carrying” “water” like an Egyptian. It’s heavy.

 photo lvnhm12_zps3b4b5bca.jpg
Brandon made a design. He’s proud.

 photo lvnhm13_zpscab11422.jpg
Tribal hut.

 photo lvnhm15_zps53d7f9bd.jpg
Picture taken for the Englestad name (also associated with Fighting Sioux hockey).

 photo lvnhm16_zps8cedeacb.jpg
T-Rexes and a sign about themselves.

 photo lvnhm17_zpsffea2887.jpg
Nelson and the T-Rex.

 photo lvnhm18_zps46ac2de3.jpg
On a shell seat, in a submarine.

 photo lvnhm19_zps0cc8e821.jpg
Brandon in the sub.

From the LVNHM, we checked in to the Bellagio where we’d be staying most of our visit.

 photo friday14_zpse772e015.jpg
Room at the Bellagio.

 photo friday15_zps65e1999e.jpg
View.

 photo friday17_zps68461f87.jpg
Oh yeah, race expo.

After the expo, we took our realtor and local TV/radio personality Susie Wargin around to grab a bite and then help her get to a studio so she could do her radio show from Vegas (she was out running the full marathon). From there, it was off to the Neon Museum (next blog!) and after that, dinner at the Peppermill.

 photo friday20_zps498e984a.jpg
Just like I remembered …

 photo friday21_zps4bc287bf.jpg
Me at the Peppermill.

 photo friday23_zps77ad8036.jpg
Fountain view with the fountains going.

 photo friday25_zps0c8813d9.jpg
Ceiling between Bally’s and Paris. Never knew this was there …

 photo friday26_zps6925548c.jpg
Hey thanks, Planet Hollywood/Miracle Mile Shops!

 photo friday27_zps245378c6.jpg
Bellagio conservatory.

We also went to Tao Nightclub that night, but no pictures. Honestly, it was kind of a disappointing experience …