VIVA LAS VEGAS

After being gone for 3 weeks, I was beyond excited that for my next work trip, Peter would be coming along for the journey! 

The trip got off to a wonderful start when I realized we would be leaving from the Delta terminal in JFK that has a World Bean kiosk which serves AVOCADO TOAST AND PEANUT BUTTER BANANA TOAST. 

Obviously, I insisted that we order and split both. 


(Best airport breakfast you could ask for!)

We managed to maneuver our seats so that we were sitting next to each other for the flight. I napped and then woke up and started watching Singing in the Rain - except that we landed with like 10 minutes to go in the movie so I'll NEVER KNOW WHAT HAPPENS. 

Immediately upon landing we hit up the liquor store in the baggage claim area for some Coronas and vodka. When we went up to the cashier to pay, we were poured a shot. Welcome to Vegas!

Another sign we were in Vegas: The incredibly long check-in line that greeted us when we arrived at the MGM Grand. Luckily, it moved fairly quickly. We dropped our stuff off at the room and set out for some lunch.

I started my trip on the healthy side - knowing that would probably only  last until about dinner time. But weird fact: I've found the salads in Vegas to be surprisingly wonderful. In fact, a salad from the Wynn last year made my list of Life Changing Salads! 

We got lunch at Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill - I ordered the Chopped Vegetable salad. 



Next? POOL obviously. We lasted about 5 minutes laying out before we needed to jump in and cool off.  That Vegas heat is brutal man. 

Eventually, we set out to explore the Strip. 



Naturally, our first stop was for a margarita and mango-habanero guacamole at Hussong's in Mandalay Bay - where legend has it, the first margarita was created by bartender Don Carlos Orozco. Yeah yeah. K. It was a good marg, but I'm a little sad we didn't have the guts to try the...ready...PB&J margarita! (Sauza Reposado tequila, crΓ¨me de cassis, muddled blackberries, and a peanut butter rim.)

We also made a stop at the pyramid-looking casino (The Luxor) because my boyfriend is an engineer ;)  And stopped for a song at the Bellagio Fountains because, Vegas. 




After some wandering, we heard live guitar music and followed it to the rooftop bar at Cabo Wabo Cantina.  There was live music from a guy doing some great covers, and $20 buckets of beer. We were very content at the end of the night. 



The next morning we got up at a decent hour and decided to do a deck of cards workout in the hotel room instead of paying the resort fee to use the gym. It ended up being pretty legit, and lasting longer than we thought it would. But we certainly worked up our appetite for a late breakfast. 

We stayed in our hotel and sat down at Avenue Cafe - which would end up being Peter's go-to spot in the mornings while I was working. 

Both of us were kind of sort of drooling over the menu - Red Velvet Pancakes? Blueberry Almond Crunch Pancakes? Pulled Pork Egg Sandwich? I HATE THE CHOICE BETWEEN SWEET AND SAVORY! 

So I went rogue and ordered the Kale Salad. I knew there would be plenty of time for indulging later in the trip. Plus, this Kale Salad sounded pretty great - apples, cranberries, green beans, toasted walnuts and a mustard vinaigrette. I made the mistake of forgetting to ask for the dressing on the side, so the salad was a little soupy, but the flavor was great and I was yet again pleasantly surprised with Vegas' salad game. 


Peter had one of the egg skillets and it was KILLER. 

We spent the day lounging by the pool and by lounging by the pool I mean profusely sweating and mainly sitting IN the pool looking at all the crazy people on E. 


That night, we again set out wandering, drinking along the Strip and exploring the different hotels. Eventually, we stopped by happy hour at Coyote Ugly in New York New York and while I have never been to the one in NYC, we ended up having a great time despite the somewhat-trashy feel of the place. Bras hanging from the ceiling, girls dancing on the bar - I probably should have felt slightly uncomfortable as girls lined up to have shots poured in their mouths but instead, I just enjoyed the entertainment. And especially enjoyed Peter convincing one of the dancers to Rick-Roll the bar. Worse than Rick-Rolling them? Playing Photograph from the juke box. Sorry, not sorry. Except kind of sorry, because we had to sit through it too. 

Dinner was also in New York New York at Gonzalez y Gonzalez. Repetitive name theme I suppose. And whoah- do you think Peter and I like margaritas and Mexican at all?

The guac here had CRAB in it - big pieces too. It was legit. 

Next stop was to listen to some piano at the dueling piano bar in New York New York before calling it a night. I had work in the morning, after all!

Monday morning we woke up nice and early for my first official day of training for the Suffolk County Marathon! 4 miles in the stifling heat. It was pretty miserable, but we got it done and then I went to work. 

The rest of the days we were in Vegas were pretty similar - wake up, exercise, go to work while Peter explored or chilled at the pool, and then we met up at the end of the day for drinks and some unbelievably awesome dinners. 

Highlights for Peter included the NHL Social Media scavenger hunt where he came in 3rd place and won tickets to see La Reve! 

He also got a selfie with Alexander Ovechkin at the pool one day. They really look like they're BFF. 


The highlight of the trip for me was working with Jonathan Pitre and his mom to make sure he had a wonderful experience at the Awards show. Please, watch this video and consider donating! Jonathan and his mom were so incredibly sweet and I was so happy that I got to know them and learn about their story. My aunts nephew through marriage also has this disease, When I'm back and running, I would love to find a race that supports this cause or fundraise for DEBRA through a larger race. The biggest take-away from meeting Jonathan was that he is just Jonathan - a 14 year old who loves hockey, is super polite, laughs easily, and has a great attitude. 



You're probably all wondering where we ate while in Vegas. 

Tom Colicchio's Craftsteak was the first big dinner. As usual, we split a majority of the appetizers on the menu, each got an entree, and sampled more desserts than is ever necessary. 

I like to call this, "The dinner where Peter realized why his girlfriend was researching juice cleanses and swearing she had gained 15 pounds in the past month." 

Our waiter had SUCH a funny accent. 

I'm ashamed to say I have no recollection of what I ordered as an entree, and I also have zero pictures of the meal. 

I do remember that no one wanted the side of heirloom cauliflower. What gives? But we DID have copious amounts of sides -  including mushrooms, grits, risotto, and who knows what else. 

Looking at the cocktail menu, I can only assume that the two drinks I ordered were:
Pomma Rita: tequila, lime juice, pomegranate juice and Cointreau
Craft Champagne Cocktail: St. Germain, Sparkling Wine

Another night, we went for tapas at a restaurant in the Cosmopolitan called Jaleo. 

Again, not the best recollection of exactly what we ordered. What I DO remember is they tried charging us like $200 for a paella that would have been THIS BIG: 

(Swimming pool of paella) 

Also, they served the chicken croquettes IN A SHOE with zero explanation: 



We just went with it. 

The sangria was yummy and we ordered multiple pitchers. 

These tuna cones were delicious. 

(And my photography was awful...)


Cheese platters are cool. 

(Marcona almonds are the shit) 

After the Awards show, we went to Tao, which we have here in NYC too. It's one of my parent's favorites, so I've been spoiled and taken there a handful of times. It's always delicious. 

Of course we ordered some sushi for the table, some edamame, Drunken Lobster Pad Thai, and I FINALLY got my cauliflower.

On our last morning we got breakfast and our favorite breakfast place (Peter ate there every morning I'm pretty sure - and once he delivered me a Red Velvet pancake that was legit a mini CAKE and so moist and amazing.) 

I can't remember what I ended up ordering but I DO remember that we got delicious Bloody Mary's. 

On our way out, I bet $5 on a Wizard of Oz slot machine and won $50! Score. 

Unfortunately, our plane was delaying 8 HOURS and we thought we would never make it home. The good thing? Airports have bars. And Chili's. Which have nachos. 



We made the best of the delay and I even won 2 complimentary cocktails for the flight by answering a trivia question correctly (What's the difference between a Broadway and off-Broadway show? Answer: The number of seats in the theater!) 

(Delayed = bored)

And there you have it! 

Vegas, see ya next June!