Weekend Things: Viva Las Vegas

I think I stand in opposition to almost everything Vegas stands for — gambling, drinking, staying out late — but I’m always up for sight-seeing, show watching and going out to eat!  We took a little weekend trip and even though our flight home was delayed, delayed again then majorly delayed, I think we all still had a great time.  I got to see P!nk fly through the air, a robot mix a margarita and the last ever season premier of Game of Thrones on an iPad at 1 AM, so I feel pretty happy about it.

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We stayed at The LINQ and it had a lovely little promenade area with shops and you know, In-N-Out, but lots of other restaurants too!  Next door at The Flamingo, I got to see some of those pink birds hanging out in the sun.  Sounds like a great life, to be honest!  We go every time we’re in Vegas, but Gordon Ramsay Burger is just really good and they know how to cook a burger right.  We walked over to T-Mobile Arena afterward and WHOA, I was just blown away by how incredible P!nk was.  Not only was she dancing and soaring all over but she sounded FLAWLESS.  HOW??  That’s a concert I’ll never forget.

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The next morning, Joey, Lori and I hit up PublicUs for breakfast, then walked over to the Downtown Container Park — we tried to go last time we were in Vegas but the area was closed off because of some sort of festival — and were delighted to discover it was very nice and most importantly, uncrowded!  A jazz band was just about to perform so we grabbed a seat and watched for a while.  Then we walked down Fremont Street, got drinks made by a robot, watched the fountain show at the Bellagio, walked through The Forum Shops and made our way back to The LINQ to get cleaned up for dinner.

We ate at Roma and I had an amazing plate of eggplant parm with a side of what was just a simple penne in tomato sauce but somehow tasted better than any other penne with tomato sauce I’ve ever had?  Then, the real reason for our trip to Las Vegas: Donny and Marie!  In all honestly, I barely know who the Osmonds are, but when your mother-in-law is a major fan and it’s their last year in Vegas, you go!  Guys, it was so fun to watch them interact with the audience!  Women losing their minds over Donny Osmond is highly highly entertaining and look, I’ll be happy if I’m ever as good in high heels as Marie Osmond is!

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Our last full day started with a hike in Red Rock Canyon!  I guess I only ever hike on vacation now, but maybe that’s for the best because all of those hikes have been great.  The weather was perfect, the scenery was unbelievable and the company was the best.  We did what felt like rock climbing to me and Lori is a trooper for scaling rocks like the best of em!  There’s something like 26 different trails but we chose Calico Tanks and it had such a cool view of the city at the top.  Also, we saw a chuckwalla!

Post-hike, Joey ate In-N-Out and the rest of us did not because we were having dinner soon!  But then we got cleaned up and went to THE DORSEY!!!!  Aka a cocktail bar inside the Venetian that I had imagined to be on the top floor with big windows facing the outside but was actually a dark ground floor room with a view of… the casino.  But there was a library and that seemed very Dorsey-esque.  After, we had dinner at Mesa Grill which, honestly, I thought was going to be a lot better.  I wasn’t blown away and, with the amount of money we spent (especially since we ordered a total of two drinks!), I should have been blown away.  But the highlight of the night was “O” by Cirque du Soleil.  I am too old for a 9:30 PM show and maybe felt dozy a few times but WOW, it was the BEST Cirque show I’ve ever seen!

Mostly though, I feel real lucky that my family in-law is such a pleasure to vacation with ♥

Recently Consumed

A list of things consumed by my head, heart, eyes, ears and stomach lately.

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Fish N Beer

It’s back!  This little restaurant that we adore caught fire last October and has been closed since, but they just reopened and we’re so happy to have our spot back!  We stopped in for all night happy hour, shared Buffalo blowfish tails, a shrimp po boy, jambalaya, a wood-grilled artichoke and a mini fish n chips basket and it tasted better than ever after not having it in our lives for months.

Russian Doll

I don’t know how to talk about this show.  There was so much I genuinely loved about it.  Natasha Lyonne for starters.  She is SO GOOD in this!  It sort of blew me away.  It is also funny, creative, thought-provoking and though the premise may not be realistic, the emotions are.  Also, this show just has a real sense of style.  But.  Multi-dimensional, time loop stuff is difficult for me.  It always seems to operate on a “this is confusing, don’t try to fully understand it, just go with it” basis, that I can’t get past.  Why was the fruit moldy?  Why were people disappearing and how did they reappear?  How did Nadia and Alan get into separate dimensions?  I felt like the versions of them that had lived and learned and grown and dealt with stuff were better versions of themselves, but what about the versions of them that HADN’T done any of that?  My sister and Joey both told me I thought about it too hard 😛

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If Beale Street Could Talk

I’ve been wanting to read this book since seeing the movie, and though that may sound like a risky move, it’s actually my preferred order for things that exist in both movie and book versions.  I’m rarely disappointed.  The book is so beautiful and heartbreaking and after reading it, I am fully convinced that Barry Jenkins’ adaptation is PERFECT.  All the emotions I felt watching the movie were the same ones I felt reading the book.  Just wow.

Jenny Lewis’s On the Line

This is a story about how I knew who Jenny Lewis was without realizing it.  Because she opened for Beck last summer and when I heard her sing, I realized I’d heard her sing before and then I learned she was the lead singer of Rilo Kiley and hey, I know that band too!  So, anyway, I saw some mentions of her new album on Twitter and decided to give it a listen.  I love it!  Specifically, “Heads Gonna Roll,” “Do Si Do,” “Little White Dove” and “On The Line.”  I’ve also been walking around all week singing, “I wasted my youth, on a puppy” to my dog, so this is me.

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A River in Darkness

A wrote a rather unfavorable review of this book on Goodreads and then, after going to book group and also seeing a picture of the author, who looked so sad and alone, felt guilty about it.  I’ll just be up front and say this writing is prosaic.  It is also from a non-writer and it’s been translated, so there’s that.  The story is an important one, but it is a tough depressing read.  I had no idea just how bad the conditions were (and maybe still are) in North Korea and I was horrified to hear the details.  For what it’s worth, this made for some impassioned discussion among our book group members.

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Spring Pea Veggie Burgers

I’ve never needed fresh herb-y flavors more than when I was already feeling so over winter and then we got a nasty snow storm.  WHY??  It was at that point that I decided it could continue being winter, but I was going to eat like it was spring.  These veggie burgers have spring in the title, so they were an obvious choice.  Plus, I made them last year and remembered how delicious and flavor-packed they were!  We loved them again and wow, how good is a burst of heat from a sriracha mayo??

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Dept. of Speculation 

I love when a book is short but still able to capture your heart, endear you to the narrator and just feel real.  I felt a little mislead by the synopsis, which said something about a woman writing letters to her husband and only being identified as “the wife.”  There is a section that slips into third person, but for the most part, it’s told from the first person and certainly not as letters.  I liked the way it told small pieces and random moments/thoughts, that together, gave you a good look at someone’s life.  And that all those small details felt honest, believable and even if you haven’t lived these exact moments, the emotions in it were relatable.

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New Garage

Okay, this is a cheat.  I have not consumed a garage, but I’m too excited to not fit this into the post.  Our new garage is all finished and it only took a little over a month to build!  We love the color, we love being able to park both our cars inside, we love all the extra space inside and we love the huge mess it made on the other side of the yard, where they tore down the old garage.  Except not that last part.  Joey loves an outdoor project, but we’re actually entertaining the idea of hiring someone to fix it up because you know what’s better than spending your entire summer trying to make your backyard nice?  Having someone else make it nice in a fraction of the time and then getting to spend the entire summer actually enjoying the backyard.

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Taco Tuesday at Dos Santos

I love so many things about Dos Santos.  Their House Margarita, they’re outdoor patio (especially on one of those first warm nights on spring), their chips and salsa and of course, those tacos.  But, why does the service have to be so bad every time?  It’s slow or disinterested or a combination of the two.  Despite the 20 minutes it took to flag down our waitress for the check, I still love a 75 degree night eating tacos and sipping a marg.  Please let it be summer soon!

In other news, the Rockies can’t win a game, we had another snowstorm yesterday, we’re going to Vegas tomorrow, I can’t put down the book I’m currently reading (The Shadow of the Wind!) and every moment I’m not reading, I’m thinking about Game of Thrones.  What are you reading, watching, eating, enjoying right now?