Tuesday, April 17, 2012

back from Las Vegas!

Kinda on a whim we decided to take a trip to Las Vegas this past week. We wanted a trip that could be quick, easy and fun and Vegas fit the bill. I always thought it was a tacky / trashy place because I didn't know a whole lot about it besides its reputation for gambling and prostitution. But after looking into it I learned that it's actually an amazing city that can really be whatever you want it to be. But one thing it is not is a place for a family with young children! I know some parents out there couldn't dream of taking a vacation without the wee ones, but since Owen's idea of a treat is to stay with Nana and Papa, and my parents are over the moon to care for him it's a win-win all around. Plus, couples need time to reconnect outside of the routine and there is nothing like spending quality adult time. So we spent our time doing what most parents of small children find quite a luxury such as going out to eat and drink, sitting by the pool and walking - a whole lot of walking. 
A lot of people told us that it takes a long time to walk the strip, but you don't realize it till you're there. At first I had no trouble breezing up and down the flights of stairs and skywalks (that take you over major intersections probably made to avoid drunk pedestrians from wandering in front of traffic). But after a while we just bit the bullet and started riding the bus to get to our restaurant reservations on time.

So I can't sum up this trip in one entry, so I think I'll just take it day by day until I've documented everything. Vegas is pretty much a restaurant mecca concentrated on one street (the strip). And, unlike most of  the flagship locations, Vegas restaurants aren't as difficult to get into. 
When we first arrived in Vegas we walked to Paris and stopped at Mon Ami Gabby, a french bistro situated across the street from the fountains of Bellagio. This gave us time to relax on the patio and not have to elbow for a view of the fountain. The food here was great. I had a chicken, brie and green apple sandwich which was fantastic and Nuno had an open face tuna melt. 
I'd highly recommend eating here. They really catered to everything we requested and were super attentive. The strangest coincidence is that this was our first stop once we arrived (having got up at 4am to catch a 7am flight - flying for 4 hours and then arriving in Vegas at 10am). Being on the other side of the country it was very strange when the hostess who seated us at the restaurant asked where we were from we stated,  "Toronto area". She said she was originally from the area, but a small town outside, Welland (where I grew up!). Pretty trippy.
Another restaurant we made it out to was celebrity chef, Mario Batalli's, Otto inside the Venetian hotel. This hotel was beautiful, but the novelty wore off quickly. 
It was pretty dark and difficult to navigate through and extremely crowded in narrow hallways because of the river that runs through it. Otto was a total bust and I'm totally disillusioned by Mario Batalli stamping his name to this. The bread served was day-old crusty bread and our pizza wasn't anything but equal to frozen pizza. We paid too much for this disappointment! Big, giant "GRRRRRRRRRRRR". 
We moved onto the Public House also located inside the Venetian, Nevada's only beer 'cicerone', which is basically what a sommalier is to wine. After explaining we were there for drinks and were not ordering dinner, our waiter dropped our flight without even explaining each sample and not touching base with us again till it was time to settle the bill. Not cool when the place wasn't even busy.
This place as a major bust. Luckily with those 2 experiences behind us, everything else was incredible, so stay tuned for more Vegas fun!

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