Las Vegas Vacation – Febuary 2011

Last week we were taking a much needed vacation in Vegas. Yes, I know…we went this past summer. I loved the place and think it’s a perfect escape. Combine that with the fact that I got $130 round trip airfare, and we were headed back! As they did in August, our friends Sean and Kerry joined us this go around.

Below you’ll find a recap of the trip. A full set of the pictures is available in slideshow form above, or in full-screen beauty here.

We made sure to do some pre-gaming at Boston Logan airport. Mexican for lunch. I accompanied this with their Red Ale. Nano-review: Red. Light. Deliciously appropriate.

We got into Vegas late evening on Saturday. First stop after getting settled in our Luxury Red Room was happy hour at Burger Brasserie inside our hotel (Paris). For $3 I got the equivalent of two shots of Coors Light. Melissa’s mixed drink wasn’t very good.

We then hit up Bally’s for $2 Modelo drafts at The Tequila Bar.

Saturday evening ended with disappointing gambling losses at Bill’s Gambling Hall.

Boston Beer Works Logan

Red Luxury Room

Burger Brasserie

Tequilla Bar & Grill

Sunday was a big day for exploring. The wife and I hit up a bunch of locations.

We started the morning with a cab ride to Ronald’s Donuts. 80% of their donuts are vegan. DELICIOUS!!!

We spent the remainder of the morning exploring shopping, including Aria / City Center.

Lunch was had at the Todd English Pub. Great beer list, including beer cocktails. I tried the chocolate covered strawberry. They didn’t have Fruili and they substituted Framboise (BOO!). 75% fram + 25% Young’s Double Chocolate Stout = wrong proportions! YUCKO!!!

While still at City Center we were offered free drink tickets to Bar Moderno. Free drinks? Yes please! My free drink was a bottle of Tripel Karmelite that would have cost $12. Nano-review: Caramely, smooth and delicious.

We killed the remainder of the afternoon walking through the Miracle Mile Shops inside Planet Hollywood. The highlight? Picking up an Amber from Sin City Brewing and walking through the mall with it. Booze can go anywhere with you in Vegas = reason 14,565 that I love Vegas. Nano-review: Mediocre amber, but honestly, it was perfect for the occasion.

Later we had buffet dinner at the Wynn. Steve Wynn recently went vegan and thus all restaurants on his properties must have vegan menus. The buffet was no exception. Lots of delicious veggie and vegan options. Unfortunately we stuffed ourselves to the point of food comas and crashed relatively early.

Ronald's Vegan Donuts

Todd English Pub

Todd English Pub Menu

Chocolate Covered Raspberry

Bar Moderno

Tripel Karmeliet

Sin City Brewing

My wife had two clothing related conventions to go to while we were in Vegas. She spend Monday and Tuesday morning at the conventions. I spent these mornings gambling (successfully).

On Monday afternoon hilarity ensued. Melissa got done with her convention and met up with us back at Bally’s for Tequila Bar round 2. Sean, Kerry, and I each drank a pitcher of Modelo. Hey…$7 pitchers…you can’t go wrong! Much peeing and drunkenness followed. Melissa went upstairs for a nap after, while the three drunkards stumbled off to the Flamingo for Texas Holdem. Modelo + poker = good combo; I walked away with positive cash.

Monday was Valentine’s Day, so a special dinner with Melissa was in order. We had reservations at Stratta at the Wynn. We were still stuffed from eating too much the night before and decided to skip an uber fancy multi-course meal and instead just had a main course. Food was delicious!

We very well may end up staying at the Wynn the next time we are in Vegas. Steve Wynn’s decree of required vegan menu options are just plain awesome.

After some unsuccessful slot-play at Wynn, we taxied it back to Paris for some late night fun at Napoleon’s Piano Bar. Nothing like getting wrecked on $11 Captain-rocks while singing at the top of your lungs!


Napoleon's Piano Bar

Tuesday morning was day 2 of conventions for the wife. I once again gambled with Sean and Kerry (definitely NOT successfully).

Early afternoon brought about lunch over at the restaurant “Noodles” Beliagio. Really good Asian fare. That said, it just wasn’t anything to write home about in my opinion…it’s frickin noodles.

Lunch was followed-up by happy hour at a bar called “The Pub” at Monte Carlo. HUGE selection of craft draft beer…assuming you were willing to pay $15 for a pint. I opted for the two pints of Coors Light for $7. More peeing.

On Tuesday we took in an evening show at Bally’s (Jubilee). Sorry, no pictures allowed. We had awesome table seats up front.

[Read between the lines: topless ladies up close.]

After the show we trucked over to Mandalay Bay to the Burger Bar. This is a great little joint that’s a must-visit if you’re in Vegas. Nothing fancy; just plain good food. Vegan and vegetarian burger/sandwich options. Fantastic milkshakes too. I had a vanilla/Kahlua/Bailey’s milkshake.

Jubilee Theater

Wednesday morning the ladies took off on their own. They had reservations to go on a tour backstage of the Jubilee show. The tour was given by one of the dancers. They got to go check out the dressing rooms, the sets, the costumes, etc. It sounded very cool.

After a hurry-up lunch at Grand Lux over at the Venetian we took a long taxi ride downtown to the Neon Sign Boneyard. The boneyard is a museum of old Vegas signs from the 30s – 90s. The tour was really cool until the wind kicked up to about 50 MPH and broken glass started raining down on us. RUN!

Kerry is holding photo’s of the sign-yard hostage…when I get copies, I’ll make sure to update this post.

With the end of the vacation approaching, wifey and I wanted to go out with a bang. We took the Effiel Tower ride at Paris for a view of the strip. Awesome views. Wednesday night was the coldest night. Wind gusts at the top of the tower must have been damn near 70 MPH; COLD!

We needed to warm-up, so we walked across the street to Cosmopolitan, a new hotel and casino geared toward young people. A bottle of Prosecco and 3-4 captain-rocks later, we found ourselves at “Bond“, a very hip bar at Cosmopolitan. The picture of the bar doesn’t do the light show justice…I should have shot some video.

We finished up at Cosmo and went back to Paris. Being unsatisfied until we were fall-down drunk, we bought wine and beer at the “convenience store” at Paris and then went back to the room to have a 2-person party. Two sips into my can of Guinness the spins came on. DOH! Putting down the booze and ordering room service was the perfect solution. No more spins and no hangover the next morning!!!

P.S. Never order hash browns from room service. I’m officially 0-2 in this arena.

Cosmopolitan Bond Bar

Eiffel Tower View

Sleep in. Get on a plan. Go home. Perfect timing…I wasn’t sick of Vegas yet, but I felt it was getting close.

Author: Joshua Dion

I write about beer in an un-intimidating way, welcoming beer lovers of all experience levels.