Incredible Day in Vegas!

Posted on November 16th, 2011 by Jean

The title says it all. I did have an incredible day in Vegas yesterday. My girlfriend, Wendy, was in town celebrating her 10 year wedding anniversary, and invited me over for a day of play. I thought it was awfully generous of her and her husband to allow me to invade their celebration.
 
I picked her up around 11:30am, and we headed to Tommy Bahamas Restaurant at Town Square. On the way, we spotted Big Bird at the Welcome To Las Vegas sign! Neither of us having been to the sign, and knowing our young daughters would be thrilled to see us with Big Bird, we pulled in and parked. Big Bird works for tips, his hand magically appearing from a hole beneath his tie. I slipped BB two bucks and we were golden. Two photos each. Then we made our way to the famous sign, and Wendy asked a nice man to take our photo. He did, and invited us back in one hour to be in a music video. Hello! Sign us up!
 

 
We hurried over to Tommy Bahamas for cocktails and appetizers. Our bartender concocted two special drinks for us, one with passion fruit and the other with cucumber and pineapple. Both were delicious! We also had crab bisque (to die for), and some kind of shrimp dip with chips (not the greatest).
 

 
We caught up as it had been a year since we saw each other, and the bartender brought us over two more specialty cocktails. Then our bartender disappeared, overwhelmed with a banquet in the back room. So much time passed that we gave up ordering dessert and considered “dine & ditch”. We were planning our escape when Wendy decided to give one final attempt to pay our bill. She began waving her arms around as if directly a large plane into takeoff position. It got people’s attention alright! A hostess came over to see what our problem was, and had the bartender ring us up. Mr. Bartender became a hero when he didn’t charge us for our drinks, only our appetizers. Thank you, dreamboat!
 
We were thirty minutes late to the video shoot, and hurried over to find parking. The production team was still setting up, testing audio equipment and who knows what else, for at least another hour. Finally we were asked to take our positions around the piano, the star, Frankie Moreno, and the bassist. The director asked us to sway and bop enthusiastically, to which Frankie added, “Act like you like my music. If you can’t do that, get the fuck out of here.” With his handsome looks and New York accent, we all took his advice with a laugh.
 
Action! The camera was rolling, Frankie was tickling the ivories and wailing out a tune much like Harry Connick Jr but cooler. We were all swaying, clapping hands, and getting into it. Frankie finished his song, and had to perform it again. The camera man moved to a new angle capturing Frankie from head on (with Wendy and me directly behind him).
 
The director asked us to move closer to Frankie with some of the women leaning on the piano. Two retro/pin-up looking girls leaned on the piano, and a grandmotherly type woman was next to them with a cotton ball taped to her arm. Just gave blood? A girl in purple joined our group, but had a sour look on her face like she was smelling something awful. A butter-faced woman in a green sweater, no pants, and tan boots was asked to stand in front of the bassist. She worried about blocking his view, not realizing she was the view. LOL! Two sweet elderly couples were next, with Wendy and I rounding out the group. The director asked us to look at Frankie as if we wanted him, but couldn’t have him. I stared as if his was the sexiest nape I’d ever seen. Oooh, look at the clean-cut neckline! I licked my lips and batted my eyes a few times, just for good measure. I hope I don’t hit the cutting room floor.
 

 
Frankie sang two more tunes, twice, and it was a wrap. Then he asked his marketing director, Sasha, if he could play a song just for us. She agreed, and he REALLY got into it! He hammered those keys like I’d never seen! Wow, we were really dancing now, no acting involved. Just pure enjoyment. His camera man rushed up with the camera, zooming in and out on Frankie, on us, on the keys, on us. What a video this will be! I’ll leave room for it right here (below).
 

 
Wendy and I posed with Frankie for two photos. (I”ll post those too once Wendy gets home and can download her camera.) What a doll he is. If you’re going to see him, he performs at the Stratosphere. Go, go, go!
 

 
How do you come down from that high? We decided we needed more cocktails and dessert. We drove to Caesars, and checked out the new chocolate restaurant, Max Brenner. Oh Max, $12.50 for a margarita? We didn’t even see dessert on the posted menu, but a banner across the top of the display said something like, “Food First, Dessert Next”. Hmmm… we kept walking. The kiosk bar with yard-long cocktails also had mixed drinks for $12.50, frozen drinks for $14.00. Really? Ice costs that much more? Rip-off. Kept walking. Finally saw The Cheesecake Factory! Yes, let’s get some drinks and dessert. That’s what we came for, that is what we shall have. The tropical martinis were fabulous, and deep-fried avocado appetizers were amazing, and the red velvet cheesecake was orgasmic. Thank you to our server for telling us we didn’t both need a slice. He was right, and we thanked him for watching our wallets and waistlines.
 
With the day drawing to a close, we walked out into the crisp night air and over to the Bellagio gardens. Decorated for fall, they were (as always) a sight to behold. Pumpkins, scarecrows, corn stalks and the like filled the atrium, and we tried to photograph as much of it as possible. Then we made our way back to my car and finally to her resort. I hated to see the day end.
 

 
• Do you believe in the slogan, “What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas?”
• Would you have swayed and bopped to the music?
• $12.50 for a cocktail. Discuss.

Super-Size My Vegas Photoblog!

Posted on May 13th, 2009 by Jean

Wednesday afternoon my friend from Oregon, Joy, and I made our way to Vegas. She had booked our accommodations, keeping me in suspense for months. Finally she spilled the beans.

T R U M P I N T E R N A T I O N A L H O T E L

Trump is located on the north end of the strip, across from the Encore and the Wynn.

The non-gambling, non-smoking resort was very swank.


Lobby


Kitchenette ~ Tub with view of the Strip

Now, I have to tell you that I did forget to pack 1 thing (as usual). This time it was my camera. I used my phone to take pics, but they aren’t the best.

We checked in, then sat in the lounge, sipping overpriced wine and beer.


Bar & Lounge

We entered a time warp as 3 hours passed quicker than you can bat an eye. When we noticed the time, we had 5 minutes to change clothes, freshen our make-up & hair, and catch a cab to Caesar’s.

Here is an event I was really anticipating! Dining at Mesa Grill, owned by Bobby Flay.

All the while pinching myself, I savored Green Pea + Green Chili Soup, Ancho Chili-Honey Glazed Salmon with Spicy Black Bean Sauce, and Roasted Corn with Smoked Chilis, Cotija Cheese + Lime.


Camera phone, don’t fail me now!!

Without a doubt, this was the most flavorful meal I’ve ever had. Really intense, delicious flavors.

Time continued to fly as we dashed outside to catch a cab to The Rio.


An hour before the show, there is a live jazz band playing. The audience is encouraged to take to the stage to examine a box and sign an envelope. When the show does start, Teller (the little guy) appears from the box! This show was FANTASTIC! I’d like to see it again, just to catch what I missed this time. Penn explains a few of the tricks by using clear cups and cellophane, but you’re still left scratching your head in amazement!

I wouldn’t recommend the show to young children because there’s a lot of blood and guts when they cut a woman in half.

After the show, Penn & Teller run down the aisles and into the lobby where they pose for pictures and sign autographs.


Teller is easy to approach, while Penn is lost in a sea of fans.

Normally I would break down this blog into Day 1, Day 2, etc., but on Day 2, Lady Luck coughed on us. Joy caught a cold.

Our one excursion together Thursday was to the Bellagio Cafe. Now while I usually rave about the Crab Benedict, this time that darned Lady Luck put a hair in my eggs!


Bellagio Gardens


Lady Luck needs a hair net!

Back at the Trump, Joy watched t.v. while sipping on $12.00 bottles of Dayquil and Nyquil. I walked across the street to the Fashion Show Mall to visit Nordstrom, Godiva, Forever21 and Dillards. Hey, if I can’t shop, I’m not living up to my name!

Day 3, we had the breakfast at the Wynn.


The Buffet @ The Wynn

The surroundings are bright and whimsical, and the large selection of food is delicious. I was pleasantly surprised to see that pizza is included as a breakfast item! There is plenty of fruit, pancakes, french toast, bagels and the like for $18.95 per person. It’s a bit steep for a Vegas buffet, and if you haven’t tried the Rio’s buffet, I’d recommend it over the Wynn’s.

I took Joy to the airport, gave her a hug and some air kisses, and sent her on her way. It’s too bad her souvenir was a Vegas virus!

Thanks for reading! It’s good to be home.

Bellagio and Ka

Posted on April 11th, 2008 by Jean

She’s returned to Portland, but last week my best friend from high school, Joy, and her husband, Cimber, were here.
 
I don’t want to be one of those people who track down the nicest bathrooms, but…
 
check out the ladies room at the House of Blues.
 

 
All that COLOR and steel.
 
I was so busy drinking my Sex Before Sunrise, I neglected to snap pictures of my meal.
 
With 1 drink under my belt, we caught a cab and ventured down to the Bellagio.
 
They had a lovely springtime display in the garden area.
 

 
Look at the fragile edges of this flower. They almost don’t look real!
 

 
There was a gorgeous rose-covered snail, a tree with a face, and a giant ladybug.
 

 
Large watering cans splashed the flowers.
 

 
There was also a beautiful little butterfly habitat.
 

 
Currently on display at the Bellagio are Cirque inspired sculptures.
 

 
These are by an artist named Richard MacDonald.
 
In the evening, we caught the Ka show at the MGM.
 
As you enter the theatre lobby, Ka musicians are playing an unusual instrument… amplified string?
 

 
The show was wonderful! No photography was allowed inside once the show had started, but here are some pictures I found on the internet back in January when Joy and I saw the show for the first time.
 

 
After the show, we drove the 90 minutes back to my home.
 
That concludes day one.


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