Weekend Vacation: Las Vegas

“Bright light city gonna set my soul, gonna set my soul on fire.”

It is my honest opinion that whatever you’re into, you can find it in Vegas.  So while gambling, drinking, sunbathing and staying up all night might be the most obvious forms of entertainment, if  you’re into cute coffee shops, history tours, evening shows, breweries and going to bed at a normal hour (ME!) then Vegas is for you too.

It’s also a place where mostly everyone is on vacation and ain’t nobody there to take themselves seriously or to say “no” to temptation.  Hey, I can get behind that.  Viva Las Vegas, right?


Flew in on what was the most turbulent flight of my life, checked in to our hotel, grabbed a late lunch then headed to Fremont.  All those lights! ♥


Breakfast at the hippest coffee shop before winning SIXTEEN WHOLE DOLLARS.  Really living it up!


Kind of LOVED the Neon Museum Tour!


When you’re a psycho and run on vacation but we got to see the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign and then rewarded ourselves with bottomless brunch and the prettiest mimosas, that almost made me forget I don’t even like mimosas.  


I was definitely the youngest person at the John Fogerty concert but I actually knew more songs than I thought I was going to.  “Proud Mary” forever!  Ate a 10:30 steak dinner afterwards and I’ve never felt so fancy.


Hung with the boys at Beerhaus on Sunday because I guess football doesn’t stop for vacation.  Pool (aka nap) time before seeing Lionel Richie and I went to two concerts that started with “Hello” this year.  Bellagio fountains never disappoint.


Spent our last day eating (always!), gambling (never!) and eating again.  Got to see Aria for the first and last time and it was straight pumpkin season in there!

Where We Stayed: New York, New York // It’s a lot nicer than I remembered it being when I was 10 and location-wise it seemed to really work out for us.  

Where We Ate/Drank:

Tom’s Urban // We have a Tom’s in Denver and I was pretty excited to learn that the Vegas one happened to be located IN our hotel.  Just like the Denver location, this wasn’t the BEST but being conveniently located scores major points.

Banger Brewing // I didn’t LOVE their beers, but the bartenders were friendly as hell and the Jalapeño Hefe was crazy interesting.

Therapy // Leave it to me to find the most hipster spots, even in downtown Vegas.  But all trendiness aside, the food at this place was so so good.  I thought I’d seen it all when it came to “Devils on Horseback” but WHOA these were incredible.  P.S. When they call to confirm your reservation, they say “This is Sarah, from Therapy.”

PublicUs // My love for Bon Appetit went up 10 points after visiting this coffee shop that also pumps out incredible food.  When’s the last time you had the opportunity to order steak and eggs at a coffee shop?  And if their actual menu isn’t enough, their glass case is filled with the most beautiful foods.  I saw that toast and was a goner.  

Chicago Brewing // Not only was our bartender a Rockies fan but the IPA I had was majorly good.  Less pleasant is that this place is located inside a cigar bar…

Roma Deli 1 & Restaurant // Guys, Adam and his friend Denny have been talking this place up for YEARS so we HAD to go.  I feel bad/weird/embarrassed that I have nothing to compare it to (unless the Olive Garden counts?) but I have it on good authority that it’s as authentic as can be.  I just know the pasta sauce was the freshest and my spaghetti came with a giant meatball that was unbelievably tender.  HOW DO THEY DO IT?

Border Grill // Joey and I are all in on bottomless brunch.  Our waitress wasn’t the friendliest but whatever because they had a hot pink mimosa and the dishes are served tapas size, one for each person.  Is it wrong if the pigs in a blanket were my favorite thing?

Buddy V’s // As in The Cake Boss.  We just shared a meat and cheese plate + a bottle of wine here so I can’t vouch for much more than that, but it served its purpose for us.

Carnevino // Another Adam & Denny recommendation and it was quite the experience!  They cut your steak tableside, plate the bone and encourage you to gnaw off of it.  Not sure I’d do it again based on the price alone but I’m 100% glad we went.  Man, do I love a good steak. 

Il Fornaio // I got granola and I’m pretty sure ordering granola in a restaurant is NEVER something you write home about.  The service did seem pretty top quality however!

Beerhaus // I thought this place was pretty cool.  I also don’t care about football so I was less annoyed that “there weren’t enough TVs.”  I’d definitely go back and try the food next time.

BurGR // Joey and I kind of love this place!  And judging by the constant line outside, I’d say a lot of other people do too!  It’s just a really really good burger, a decent beer selection and four different french fry options.  What more can you ask for?

Five50 Pizza Bar // I really wanted to love this place but the service was so slow and my clam pizza was not this clam pizza so that was a bummer, but Joey’s pepperoni/sausage/salami pie was YUM.  

What We Did:

Fremont Street Experience // I love Fremont less for the cheap gambling and more for all the old school neon lights and the overall feeling that you’ve been transported back in time.  They do a light show on the overhead screen every hour on the hour and it’s my favorite.

The Neon Museum // You can do day or night tours and while I’m sure seeing the signs lit up is awesome, we only had time to go during the day, plus it makes it a lot easier to take pictures.  I loved the tour!  It was a lot more historical than I had imagined, which turned out to be a major bonus.

Cirque du Soleil: Michael Jackson ONE // Look, all Cirque shows are incredible but this one probably wasn’t my favorite.  Between ONE and LOVE I’m ready to see something really acrobatic next time.  Still, ain’t nobody who could move or sing like MJ, so it was fun to see (and hear!) a tribute to him.

Fountains of Bellagio // All hail free entertainment!  I was delighted by this water performance after Lionel Richie and what do you know, they were playing Elvis’s “Viva Las Vegas.”

Till next time, Vegas!

P.S. I’ve been straight living it up this week for Great American Beer Fest, but tonight is the main event and I feel like a kid on Christmas, for real!  TGIGABF!

Weekend Vacation: Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. ♥

The most hot and humid weather I’ve ever experienced (and I’ve been to New Orleans in August!), but also The White House, city views from swanky rooftop bars, endless bowls of fresh pita, the monuments all lit up at night, an alleyway coffee shop, BOTTOMLESS BRUNCH (what?!), a museum tour that makes you thirsty for beer, a Bryce Harper home run, the Ginuwine Wikipedia page (don’t ask), walking past all the pretty row houses on your way to get coffee, “watching sport,” UNION MARKET (OMG, my favorite!), Union Station, a Sunday bike ride, seeing the Changing of the Guard, THE BEST dinner at Tail Up Goat and sad goodbyes at the end.

It is insane and beautiful and amazing that you can collect so many precious memories in such a short span of time.  Till next time, D.C.!


Where We Ate/Drank:

Qualia Coffee // They roast their own coffee and there’s a secret back patio, but you didn’t hear it from me.

Capitol City Brewing Company // I had a really good Rye IPA and get this, they give out baskets of soft pretzels instead of baskets of bread! 

Zaytinya // What can I say except that everything is good and they give you a never ending supply of fresh pita to dip any and everything in.  My favorite was the roasted red pepper dip and the Brussel sprouts. 

Pintango Gelato // Totally recommended on a hot D.C. night when you’re walking to the Washington Monument.  Or just any time.

La Colombe Coffee  (Shaw location) // One look at this place and I was sold.  All the exposed brick your eyes can handle.  Plus I’d call the almond milk latte I ordered one of the best I’ve ever had. 

El Centro // You shoulda seen my eyes when I heard they do a $35 bottomless brunch, food AND drink included!  I only made it through round one but I’m pretty sure Joey ordered 50% of the menu.  Best chilaquiles ever though, furreal. 

Kapnos at the Park // I wouldn’t call the Greek Fried Potatoes I ate at Nationals Park the best thing I ate in D.C. but overall, the options were so much better than at Coors.  No fair.

Big Bear Café // We just grabbed coffee and a couple of (really good) pastries, but can I just say I’m a big fan of a coffee shop that’s got a good food menu and this place looked like it did.  Also, it was hoppin in there!

Union Market // An indoor food hall that made my heart so so happy.  I think I could’ve spent all day there but decided to order a shrimp bánh mì and a bao bun (that I saw a man walk by with and HAD to track down), then left feeling my happiest foodie self.

Tail Up Goat // Saved the best for last with this one!  What can I even say?  Everything — from the way they confirm your reservation with a goat emoji text, to the beautiful bar set up, to the watermelon-jalapeno cocktail to the best damn roasted chicken I ever did eat — was so incredible.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

FroZenYo // In true Lauren fashion, I put the smallest amount of gelato in my bowl then piled ALL THE THINGS on top.  Also, a good opportunity to experience the Columbia Heights neighborhood, where everyone and their mom seemed to be out and about. 

What We Did:

The White House // A nice lady walked by and took our picture for us.

The monuments at night // The Washington Monument, the World War II Memorial, past the Reflecting Pool and up to the Lincoln Monument, then to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.  It was so cool (and probably way less crowded) to see them all lit up at night. 

Heurich House Museum // We toured the home of a German brewer that was built in 1892 and it was so interesting.  Our house could totally use a balcony for live music too. 

Canteen Beer Garden // Beer, Jenga!, a live band with a singer who sounds like Adam Levine.  What more can you ask for?

Washington Nationals Game // Joey totally called that Bryce Harper homerun!  And we got free beer steins!

Union Station // Just a little bigger than Denver’s 🙂

Capital Bikeshare // We rented some bikes and biked up to the bridge into Arlington.

Arlington National Cemetery // Did you know Robert E. Lee lived there before the cemetary was established??  Seeing all those headstones is really incredible.  Definitely watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony.

HUGE shoutout to Fletcher for being the best host/tour guide ever!  He know what’s up when it comes to D.C. sightseeing, eating and Metro traveling.