Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Viva Las Vegas...A Long Overdue Recap!

Our trip to Vegas was over the top wonderful, amazing, and beyond needed.  I told one of my coworkers that I didn't realize how much my soul needed a vacation until I was there and feeling utterly nourished.  (My coworkers teased me that I'm the only person to go to Vegas and come back saying my soul felt nourished!)  Getting away from our crazy work schedules and spending a weekend with absolutely nothing on the schedule was delightful, and I don't think we could have had more fun.  There were multiple moments during the trip where I found myself looking at Matt wondering, "How did we get to lucky to find each other and go through this life together?"  But enough of my mushiness, on to the pictures :)

Picnik collage*We stayed at the Tropicana and absolutely loved our time there.  We used our tried and true Hotwire "don't know the name of the hotel until you book" method, and were really happy.  They just did a huge renovation, so the rooms were super nice.  Plus, they pump tons of tropical smelling fragrance into the hotel, so you constantly feel like you're somewhere beachy and fabulous....with penny slots :)
*Checking in and ready for the weekend!

IMG 0408*75 and sunny on our first morning there!

Picnik collage2*Saturday champagne brunch at Mandalay Bay.  I'm convinced mimosas are the best way to start a vacation!
*Done with brunch and ready to explore!  So grateful to have such a handsome traveling companion :)

IMG 0406*Good morning "New York."  PS: until the last day, I didn't realize that the all these buildings were meant to look like New York.  I just thought the Statue of Liberty and the building behind her were the hotel, and that the other buildings were random Vegas buildings on the strip.  Lol, definite "duh" moment!

Picnik collage4*Cutest husband ever, and the reason we got to take this fun vacation.  Best Christmas present ever!
*Shadow shot.  I am easily entertained :)

IMG 0416*Favorite thing about Vegas?  The Bellagio fountains.  I literally could not get enough; we must have watched them 8 times over the weekend!

Picnik collage3*We spent most of Saturday wandering in and out of the various hotels.  The Bellagio was definitely one of my favorites, along with the Cosmopolitan.
*And if I could have found a way to smuggle this giant mirrored and gold horse into my suitcase, I definitely would have!

Picnik collage5*Day 1 outfit: thrifted pink linen button up, Ann Taylor white denim, Talbots turquoise drop earrings, gold nameplate necklace, David Yurman ring.
*OPI Glitzerland+Essie Haute as Hello

IMG 0425*I know people always rave about the shopping in Vegas, but I managed to go the whole trip without buying a single retail item!  Chicago has pretty fabulous shopping, so it wasn't as tempting as I imagined.  Plus there was so much else to do!

Picnik collage6*Midday drinks at Numb Bar in Caesar's Palace.
*Fruity and frozen...yes please!

Picnik collage7*I wasn't interested in big time gambling, but this little Monopoly penny slot machine had us hooked!
*And though I've heard horror stories about gambling, we got pretty lucky our first day with some "big" wins.  And I swear, I've never seen Matt so excited lol!

IMG 0432*Woo hoo, big winners on the penny slots :)

Picnik collage8*Saturday night, we had dinner at Public House in the Venetian.  We loved the drinks (fabulous wine list for me, awesome beer choices for Matt), but we were a little underwhelmed by the food.
*Our server recommended the house pickled veggies, and omg, I thought my face was going to be permanently puckered.  They were so sour!
Picnik collage9
*Cheers to red wine, big bling, and a lovely dress borrowed from my fabulous intern friend (thanks Christa!)
*Saturday night, we saw Mystere, one of the longest running Cirque shows in Vegas.  It was so incredible, and I was literally in awe through the entire thing.  Mystere was both Matt and I's first Cirque show, and it's fair to say we're hooked!  (Thanks to all my readers who recommended a Cirque show!)
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*Sunday morning view of the strip.  As strange as it might sound, I think mornings were my favorite time in Vegas.  The strip is fairly quiet, not as crowded, and you can really take in a different side of Vegas.
Picnik collage10
*After several mega meals on Saturday, we enjoyed a simple Sunday breakfast at our hotel's Starbucks.  Sometimes when we're on vacation, I get tired of eating huge and fabulous meals.  A little oatmeal can go a long way with me!
*We spent most of Sunday walking through the hotels we didn't hit the day before.  We stopped at MGM for a few games of roulette, but given that our luck wasn't quite as good as on our Monopoly machine, we quickly cashed out :)
Picnik collage11*I really loved Paris.  But than again, everything there is sparkly and oversized, so what's not to love?
*Until Matt and I can get to the real Paris, this little dude will have to do.
Picnik collage12*I love when random strangers offer to take your photo.  Next time you're out of town and you see a couple together with their camera, offer to take their photo together.  It's a small, but thoughtful act that always makes me smile.
*I'm definitely gonna need a chandelier like this in my future house.  That's doable, right? :)
IMG 0444*What a cutie.
Picnik collage13*Sunday night outfit: BCBG maxi dress {seen here at our rehearsal dinner}, Nordstrom leather bomber jacket, gold nameplate necklace, M2 earrings, David Yurman ring.
*Matt thinks its really funny to photobomb my outfit photos.  I must have stood there for a good five minutes to snap something without him jumping in and laughing!
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*Fabulous view from the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas.  After our fun experience at the Mandarin in New York, we decided we stop by the hotel for a quick peek.  It was super chic and is on our list for future spots to say in Vegas.
Picnik collage14*For dinner our last night there, we headed to Holstein's at the Cosmopolitan.  This was recommended by several blog readers (thanks Lindsay and Adin), and it did not disappoint!  It kind of reminded us of The Counter in Chicago (see our last visit here), though we both agreed Holstein's has The Counter beat.  It was so good!
*As a Texan, I consider myself a fried pickle connoisseur, and omg, Holstein's had the best fried pickles I've ever had.  Perfectly seasoned, crispy, and yummy.  And served with the best aioli dipping sauce ever!
Picnik collage15*Adult milkshakes are so good.  I hope they have them in heaven.
*I went with the Smores milkshake.  Chocolate milkshake, graham cracker crumbs, marshmallow vodka, with a homemade marshmallow on top.  I die just thinking about it!
IMG 0458*Almost every reader who left me recommendations for Vegas mentioned the Bellagio fountains, and I can see why people are so obsessed.  They are literally mesmerizing.  While I thought the fountains were awesome during the day, the night displays were beyond magical!  And the fact that the beautiful show is free, well, that's just another bonus :)
Picnik collage16*Monday morning, we had our last breakfast at America in New York New York.
*Neither Matt or I wanted to do a breakfast buffet before getting on the plane to head back to Chicago, but we still wanted something to hold us over for a long day of traveling.  This meal certainly did that!
Picnik collage17*Last day/travel outfit: Rachel by Rachel Roy sweater, Ann Taylor leggings, Target pink giraffe scarf {available here}, Nordstrom BP sunnies.
*Packed up and heading home after a delightful long weekend!
So there you have it...our Vegas trip!  A big thanks to all my readers and friends who shared recommendations via my blog and Facebook.  It really helped us narrow down what we wanted to do, and we were able to experience some fabulous gems because of you.  So a big, big thanks!  I was certain Vegas wouldn't be my scene, but we're already trying to plan our next trip there.  It was so fun, and there is still a ton we want to do, so we're ready to head back.  Who's with me? :)


Pao said...

you guys make a lovely couple, the pictures are amazing and every Vegas trip is always better with hubby by your side!

Jenna U said...

So glad you loved Vegas - I just got back in Feb with my girlfriends, we only went for 2 days so it was hard to see everything I wanted. I am going back with my boyfriend in a week so I am very excited to see all that I missed. Your post is a great tool for me to use to see all that I missed!

Glitterista said...

What a perfect trip! The last time I stayed in Vegas I was lucky enough to have a room at the Bellagio that overlooked the fountains. I never wanted to leave my room at night. ;)

The Skipping Pixie said...

YAY! You guys looked like you had a blast and covered a lot of great spots in Vegas!!! (now I totally want a milkshake) P.S. I might have bought the same camera as you, love!

danielandlitany said...

Next time enjoy a complimentary stay somewhat on the outskirts of town! Come back and see us soon! The boys miss "the cute girl" :)

LaLa's in the Land of Enchantment said...

Fabulous Trip!! I myself are dying for a vacation, so hopefully when that does happen I might be able to make it as glamorous as you make your trips!! :)

Lauren K said...

It looks like you had a fabulous vacation!! It's so funny that you pointed out that you didn't shop - that's a main selling point/fear of a trip to Vegas for me!


Jamie said...

This post got me so excited because we're going to Vegas next week! I've been dying to go to Public House and now we will definitely go. Love all of your beautiful pics!