Wednesday, April 15, 2009

how to be a follower...

some people have been asking me how they can get email updates when i post a new blog... well after some trial and error i have added the email subscription widget on the left-hand side of my blog. so go ahead and type in the e-mail address you use most frequently to be sure you don't miss one of my scintillating stories :)

also, you may or may not notice, i have added my google calendar at the bottom of the page. if all goes well then it should update automatically whenever i add events and this way you can keep up with places i'm going and things i'm doing!

Monday, April 13, 2009

shake, rattle, and roll... it's the luck of the dice

last weekend i visited vegas for the first time. dad had a work convention and i freeloaded off his hotel room at the mandalay bay. the trip was too short and i missed seeing a lot from my list of things to do and see, but it was a great introduction to sin city!

the view of the beach from our room

i got in friday afternoon and took a taxi to the hotel. it's gorgeous... like it's own city! you really have no need to leave because everything you could want is right there. unfortunately i couldn't check into the room because just dad's name was on it, so i went to a restaurant and ate my first real meal of the day - didn't want to start drinking on an empty stomach! after a delicious salad i set up shop at the slot machines - woohoo for the penny slots! i was almost through my first dollar and just thought "hello! where is my cocktail waitress?!" when she arrived, stretchy, red, and sparkly. "drinks?"

dad got there not too much later and after getting settled into the room we went back down to the casino so he could start my craps lessons. we found the loudest table because that's apparently where you want to be and the lesson began. i was very nervous about rolling the dice properly, but it went well and dad didn't lose too much money!

soon enough he had to get ready for his dinner and i enjoyed a beer from the minibar in our room while deciding where i would dine. i chose a place called red square, serving russian cuisine. it sounded interesting and had a great choice for a rack of lamb. however, when i walked to the entrance i felt very underdressed and the menu looked a bit expensive. (it may have been going on daddy's tab, but i would have felt guilty spending that much without his ok!) instead, i bellied up at bar of red, white, and blue where i tried a caipirinha (mojito-like drink) and ordered a salmon dish that was unique and tasty! i made friends with the couple next to me and even let them try a bite of my dinner - i'm all about sharing a good thing! dad finished about the same time i did and we hit the craps tables again. this time, more of the guys were out. and let me tell you, lee kelleher is a friendly guy after a few cocktails!

the next day i ate at the breakfast buffet and then went to the shark reef. it's one of the nation's top aquariums, with more than 1,200 species of marine life including sharks, exotic fresh and saltwater fish, a 300-pound sea turtle, a komodo dragon and much more! my plan was to hit the beach afterwards, but dad wasn't sure what time his meetings got out so i could have had 45 mins or an hour and 45 mins... so i hit the slots again to play it safe. i discovered my new favorite machine - featuring the dollar bill, capitol building, and various famous presidents like abe lincoln. (just figures that i would chose that one!)

komodo dragon

sting rays - you could touch!

star fish and anemone

my favorite - the lion fish



once dad got out of his meetings we met in the lobby with some of the other guys to catch a taxi to caesars palace. we were headed to the cigar bar, casa fuente. they made terrific tangerine mojitos and had a very interesting walk-in humidor. drew, dad, and i split from the group to grab an afternoon snack at joe's stone crab before heading back to the hotel. we rested a bit then i showered and got ready for the big night while dad went to his dinner. since i wasn't very hungry i decided to have a little sushi, which turned out to be rather disappointing, but i met a group of guys who bought me a beer and gave a few good laughs. one of them said "so your dad is from texas. if he sees me hitting on you, would be shoot me with his gun?" to which i replied, "well, he does have a lot of guns!"

after dinner we took a taxi to the bellagio to experience the water show. a-may-zing! seriously i could stand there all night. honestly i think i was more excited about that than the eiffel tower across the street, but maybe that's because i've seen the real thing! inside the casino we met up with the boys and played some more craps. for some stupid reason this guy bet $300 when i was rolling (because i'm female?) poor sucker ended up losing it. he barely spoke any english either! after losing some more money we decided to make a trip to NY, NY's irish pub, nine fine irishmen where they had a live band and a dancer. it was so entertaining and i really felt like i was in ireland!

view of the eiffel tower across the street from the bellagio water show

bellagio water show

irish bar in NY, NY

unfortunately the fun had to end, but not before a trip to in n out burger. it was a first time for both of us, and even though we thought it was great, in n out just does not compare to whataburger!

we got about four hours of sleep then it was time to get up and go home. i was so sad for the weekend to end, but next i'd like to plan a girls trip... :)